Ordinary miracles in their common coats

i wanted to write about something important, a holy thing perhaps, maybe even remind you that even though you might not believe it, God loves you with a fierce love. i don’t know why i feel compelled to do this. i want to leave slices of hope lying around in dark rooms. this was my plan when i sat down to write this afternoon, but i got lost in the gift of my lunch. an ordinary potato with baked beans on top. it can’t get much plainer than that, i think. and i won’t tell you about the fibre, and the vitamins, or write an ode to the magnesium that will soon fuel my cells, although these are good things to consider. it is difficult to step outside the part of me that once was a nurse, but today the writer’s voice is louder, and if you would allow me to, i might give you this—that early this morning i blessed my day, i blessed the man who goes to work and cares for his family, i called good things to us, said thank you for them, and amen. and later the post arrived and there were things that tug at the hem of my peace but isn’t this all of us right now? how the edges of our lives might be curling from the heat. how we fight to stay standing on some days, but somehow, we do. somehow, we still breathe and how this is a gift. i know, because i nearly had it taken away a few times now, and i have held the hands of those who did not want to leave but had no choice. if you are breathing you have life, stay with it. hold it up to the light if it hurts but stay with it. already the act of staying is a prayer, and this is the ordinary part where i want to tell you about my lunch, how a farmer somewhere woke up one morning and after much planning, went out to the land which they knew like the back of their hand, and planted potatoes, and one of them found its way to my hands, in my kitchen, and i baked it in an oven for which there was enough power, and i said thank you for this. it is all the same shape as the loaves and the fishes, and the raising of the dead. i don’t always recognise the full names of the miracles until long after they have sat down next to me. how the taste of the floury warm flesh was rich in my mouth and i lingered over it, resting my fork against the curve of the bowl. each small mouthful one that millions of others will not have today, and probably not tomorrow either. and this is what i carry every day, how to marry gratitude with the sharp edge of this sword, that there are people dying for want of a mouthful of food. the richness of my common life does not escape me. how it is not caught up in what we are told is wealth. this is not a poem. i don’t know what it is, but it is not a poem. it is a provocation. a reminder that there are lives which i will never live. that there is a sacredness to the ‘enough’ that fills my life. that there are bodies crying out for the unremarkable shape of a life like mine and i will hold this in front of me when i hold out my hand for what i think i need. that i look for miracles wearing their common coats. how they are everywhere. this is what i want to tell you today. only this.

© Liezel Graham 2022

{ 📷 by Eiliv Aceron on Unsplash}

i so often want to write about deep things that call to mind how much i am loved and cared for, but there is an ordinariness to my life and this is all that i have for you today, but there is a quiet call to remember the richness of your life as it is, and maybe this won’t be for everybody, because maybe you are the one who hungers, and i know that there is a fear, but also, i want you to know that you are so loved and my hope for you is that it all works out, whatever the shape of that fear is. may you be overwhelmed by goodness, and kindness, and mercy, and ordinary promises.

look for the miracles in their common coats. once you start looking for them, you will find them everywhere.



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