Do you believe in miracles?
I believe in miracles of hope and of change. Miracles of character and of action. Miracles of transformation when we discover something inside of us we did not know we had.
We witness this type of miracle in the story of the Jewish holiday of Purim. In a seminal scene, Queen Esther has to decide whether she will reveal to the King that she is Jewish and urge him to rescind his decree to destroy the Jews of his kingdom.
Her uncle Mordecai urges her to do so. He say, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
In other words, this is your chance to perform a miracle. You can change the fate of a people. Esther does so, and she is remembered two thousand years later.
How to Perform a Miracle
We all have these opportunities in life. They may not be as dramatic as Queen Esther’s, but they make a difference.
Earlier this year a member of my synagogue told me a story. It happened during the early 1980s, when the former Soviet Union began to allow a tiny number of people to leave the country.
She and her family were fleeing from Romania. When they arrived in Germany, they had to pay an admittance tax. It was not an exorbitant amount, but they had absolutely no money. It had been confiscated. If they did not pay the tax, their papers would not get stamped. They would be turned back.
They talked with the customs official. They cried. They pleaded. Frustrated by the delay, people in line began to shout at them to move out of the way.
God Has No Hands But Ours
Then something happened. The airport worker who had carried their bags to the customs office set them down. He took some money out of his pocket. He paid the clerk.
He turned around and walked back toward the airplane. He never said a word. They never saw him again.
Would you say this was a miracle? A miracle does not have to violate the laws of science. A miracle happens when the veil behind which God is hidden is lifted and our perspective changes.
A miracle happens when God works through our hands and our hearts.
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