Miracles, Little by Little

I love this picture.

I love our girl tree in the front yard. She is majestic and awesome and beautiful.

I love that she marks the birth of every season as well as the death of every season. Sometimes she surprises us. Literally overnight, just when we think we cannot take any more of the old season, we walk outside in the morning and she shows us the sign of something new.

I love that my daughters love her, and that she brings them joy. Last week, Audrey squealed with delight as we left the house for the bus stop – she was the first to notice our tree’s spring blooms.

At the end of a very long week, I sat down to load the photos from my phone onto my desktop and really looked at this snapshot. My favorite thing about it is that you can still see a winter tree in the shadows of her spring blooms.

You can still see the shadows of winter even though spring is blooming.

It has me thinking about life’s miracles. We rarely wake up one day and find ourselves miraculously healed of a disease, or free from a prison or a bad situation or a burden. I think because what we expect of the word miracle is that it involves a loud booming announcement or a jolt that we feel throughout our body, we often miss that a miracle is what is occurring or what has occurred. We think because we need a doctor or meds that that’s not a miracle – but doctors and nurses and medicine are ways in which miracles can happen in our world. Or we think because our change or healing took time that somehow we are responsible for making it happen, or that maybe we just got lucky and things worked out.

But often, I think, miracles happen little by little – over time. And maybe because we fail to see or think about the little steps and changes over time we don’t really recognize what’s happening.

If you know anyone who’s battled cancer, you likely think of the day an MRI or some test result came back as the day they were cancer-free. But really that test showed healing and change that had already happened. That test was the proof of the miracle that already happened. It happened little by little, over time, as cell after cell was fixed or killed.

The woman with the issue of blood, a tale of healing in the bible, might seem like a miraculous instantaneous event. But really weren’t there years of steps leading up to that moment when she encountered Jesus? Weren’t there maybe years of days and moments where her faith was challenged and she had to persevere, and her faith grew little by little – the faith that was required for her miracle? Jesus said to her, “…your faith has healed you.”

That brings me back to the photo of my tree, where you can still see the shadows of winter behind spring’s blooms. The blooms are so little right now that her shadow shows only winter. You have to look closely to see her few blooms. You have to really look to see her miracle in progress. Little by little, each day, she has more blooms. Little by little, each day, the shadows of winter diminish. And when I walk out of my house a couple weeks from now and see my beautiful tree in full bloom, that will not be the day of her miracle. The miracle of her rebirth was little by little over days and months.

“The deep roots never doubt spring will come.” Marty Rubin

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