I lost a friend recently. I feel like I’ve had to say those words far too often over the past few years.
We prayed for her. For a miracle cure, for restoration of a body fighting so hard against a disease she never asked for and never welcomed into her life. We prayed for courage, for peace, for healing and for the miraculous. On the surface, it would seem that our prayers went unanswered.
I’ve been reflecting a lot on that notion over the past couple of weeks. Do miracles really exist? They once flooded the world with an unspeakable, unfathomable and surreal hope but in the world we live in now, it sometimes feels like miracles have gone silent. Like maybe God doesn’t hear us anymore. Or maybe it’s my faith that is too shallow or my prayers too small or misguided.
Maybe we’re just not looking at the right stuff when we fall to our knees crying out for things that are beyond our comprehension.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in the enormity of the miraculous that we look beyond where the true miracles really lie. We want the risen dead, the hopelessly ill to be healed and mountains to move. But sometimes, the biggest miracles come in the smallest of packages. A meal provided, a hug given without knowing how much you truly needed the love of another human being in that exact moment, a word of encouragement in a moment of despair. A flicker of light amidst the darkest of tunnels.
A miracle doesn’t guarantee a happy final act. But it does have the power to shape and guide the road toward it. My dear friend did not receive the miracle cure we all prayed so fervently for. But she did receive time, hope and the love, encouragement and care of so many whose lives she touched so deeply in her short time on the side of heaven. Perhaps the miracle came in the legacy she left behind. Perhaps because of her, we all love a bit harder, dig a little deeper and care a bit more. In a world dedicated to self, having the opportunity to fellowship alongside someone so deeply committed to selflessness is a rarity.
For me, the miracle of my friend’s life is that we reconnected over the last year in a deep and meaningful way. Whether in a group or one-on-one, we had some amazing conversations. Deep, meaningful, honest talk about life, faith, food and family. God gave her to me in such a rich way for that short season of life. A season when her health was still good and we could still pray about the future together with hope and determination. A season that allowed me to journey with her into this final season and the privilege of joining hands from afar.
To be able to have called her a friend and sister-in-Christ is a privilege and an honour I will have trouble releasing back to God in the coming weeks and months when those emails don’t come and those rich conversations over tea are no longer taking place. But I know without a doubt that I experienced the miracle of friendship and renewed hope.
Sometimes in life, it’s those seemingly insignificant moments that we don’t give much thought to that return to us later on and reveal fruit we had no idea had been planted.
I will miss our chats, your always welcome insight and the ease with which we were always able to express our hearts with no fear of judgement or embarrassment. Friendships like that don’t come easily to me so know that I will always treasure those conversations.
As you once said “I don’t know why God chose to bring two misfits like us together, but I’m glad He did.”
So am I Viv…so am I.
See you again one day soon.