At the edge of our kitchen counter sits a small, nondescript jar with strips of colored paper inside. But this is no ordinary jar. This jar contains joy and miracles.
Miracles are extraordinary things or events that occur beyond the realm of natural reason. They are supernatural in origin. I know Jesus did many while he was here on earth, as did many saints. It’s just that, for a long time, it seemed they never happened to me.
Mom-life just didn’t seem to lend itself to miracles. Laundry, endless meals, and little sleep? Yes!
Curing blindness, stopping storms, and raising people from the dead? Not so much.
And then, one day, an overtired child fell asleep in my bed, in the late afternoon. The setting sun hit her sleeping face with her long eyelashes just right. And there, surrounded by blankets and pillows, I was reminded of my miracles.
Our own children are themselves miracles. God planned from all eternity that the very child in front of you would have those eyes, that laugh, this temperament, those talents. And he planned for that child to be in your family, even before your family existed! If you stop to think about the endless possibilities of genetics, timing, talents, or even types of laughs—it is pretty miraculous that this one person in front of you possesses those exact traits.
So, while we may not be able to experience miracles of Biblical proportions every day, we can still see miracles. Miracle can also mean “an object of wonder.” And there are plenty of objects of wonder in our daily lives.
Beautiful sunset? Wonder.
That first time you get four delicious hours of sleep after bringing a new baby home? Miracle.
You make a meal everyone loves? Wonder.
The NICU baby that’s now a teen tossing a football with friends? Miracle.
The first snow, first spring bloom, first bird song? Wonder.
Sometimes, it’s hard to see the miracles. They get hidden and lost amidst daily life. The first snow becomes muddy slush. The first spring bloom fades, and the first bird song flies away in winter. It is hard to recognize a miracle when it sulks or rolls its eyes at you. And it’s sometimes hard to remember miracles exist, because the rushing of must-dos shoves away the ability to stop and rest in wonder.
And that is why the jar sits at the edge of the kitchen counter.
It sits as a daily reminder to stop and remember the wonders whenever they come. We write one down on a tiny strip of paper and place it in the jar. At some point, just as Mary Magdalene broke her jar of perfume at Jesus’ feet and marked him for the wonder he is, we’ll break open our jar and pour out the joy and the miracles we have witnessed.
So far, we have paper mustaches, healed broken finger, seeing cousins, and bacon. We’ll keep looking. Perhaps you can make your own miracle jar and join us in looking for wonder, too.