Candles lit in honor of the guardian angels
make rivers of air that bend the stone
— “Emily in Choir” by Kathleen Norris
As a child, I owned dozens of stuffed animals. They piled on the tops of my bookshelves, cuddled in the cushions of my chairs, and rested at the head of my bed. I drifted off to sleep many, many evenings saying “good night” to every one of them. I also had a rotation where I moved some of them into my bed each week – no one had to sit away from me for too long. I knew they had feelings, and I didn’t want anyone to be hurt.
A few years ago, I sold them all at a yard sale. I cried to lose my friends.
At some place deep in my spirit, I believe in the magic at the center of all things, even human-made stuffed animals. This is why the miracles of the Bible have never been hard for me to grasp. Of course, Elijah could call down fire from heaven. I had no doubt that Moses could hold up a staff and part a sea. When Peter got out of that boat, I knew his feet would stay on top of that water. I have always believed there is so much more to this world than what we can see.
As I’ve gotten older, though, I don’t see this magic or these miracles as easily. I think this is why I crave magical books (perhaps this is why vampire books and fairy books and Harry Potter books are so popular); I need to see that magic in life. I need reminders that miracles still happen.
They do – in the way writing for an afternoon can put my soul back in order, in the sheer joy I take when a cat sleeps in my feet, in the absolute glory of a rainy afternoon. I just need to remind myself to see them.
I believe air can bend stone. I believe I can walk on water. I believe men rise from the dead and women can sing life back into a soul. I believe words can kill or heal. I believe a stuffed bear can feel, and hear, and know love. I believe in miracles.
May I have eyes to see what I believe.