Page Bridges (Courtesy Photo)

Living & Growing: The miracle of life

The kingdom of God is here. Now.

Why are there so many amazing coincidences that come just when we need them? The more we open our eyes, the more we see them, and the more we experience of them. It is an escalating process. They say the kingdom of God is near, but actually, the kingdom of God is here.

How can I be so certain? It is because I have experienced so many of these coincidences that I call miracles. The more we grow spiritually, the more we reinforce each other in our faith. A saintly friend of deep faith and love recently wrote me an email, “Your resilient spirit and deep faith inspire me.” I could have said that about him. It takes one to know one. Let’s all be one. The more of us there are, the sooner the world will change,

Just as I was thinking about how to write this article, an opportunity came to defend my faith on Facebook. I think for the first time ever, I was brave enough to spar with an atheist.

I assumed I would get pushback and scorn, but it was not as bad as feared. My guard was up from already seen scornful comments of this person I do not know. There was no time to think, but I soldiered on. I tried to write short, rational things that could stand up for themselves and deflect insults.

Further working to prevent insults, I closed with, “Good luck, this was nice.” I thought my pleasantness would be hard to counter. Of course, the pleasantness was not really pleasant. I was saying, “That’s enough, no more, I’m leaving.” What a major breakthrough this was in my life. I found out I can protect myself, which I did not know before this happened.

I am going to reproduce this theological exchange verbatim. It was so worth it for me to go through, and through it, I can write this article. Minutes before I started writing, this full blown idea fell into my lap. It was a godsend to help me write about my subject of the kingdom of God being already here and obvious.

A “miracle created by nature” is what a Facebook post called an amazing tree. In our dialog below, BP stands for the person who first commented. BP is the anti-PB, me, like in “Star Trek.”

BP Think again about projecting our life onto other life. PB All of nature is a miracle.

BP Well then miracles mean nothing.

PB All life is a miracle, and miracles mean everything.

BP Hmmm… I think it’s just another day in the life. It’s OK to enjoy life and being without having to think it’s special.

PB If you want to, but I am happy thinking it is special. Like how parents say to kids, you’re special. It makes them feel good.

BP That’s cool. But there is no difference in saying “life is fabulous by itself” and saying “life is fabulous because it is a miracle.” But of course, one of those statements puts the magical concept of miracle in the mix. Is it really needed? Or… What harm can that kind of little added attribute have? Do we really need it to be a miracle? Why? What is it about our lives that adding the concept of miracle makes better? What about when life is randomly cruel? What about when violent evil enters our life?

PB It is because if one does not recognize that life is a gift from God, one can abuse and destroy it. It is universal that when one recognizes that one’s life is given by God and in service of God and what God wants us to do, and that one is not in control but God is, that one’s life changes for the better. I tell you, violent evil did enter my life, a lot, but not anymore. Now I am floating on a wave of protection and energy.

This article needs to be 700 words or less. With that last paragraph, it was 701 words. No effort or planning, a miracle. All I have to do is cut a few words. A breeze! The kingdom of God is here. Now.

Page Bridges is a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church with a permanent collection of her art at Rainbow Foods. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Friday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.

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