nps drawing

time machine
neworld store



it isn't that i have a seminarian degree in the theology of miracles or that i have abundant knowledge about the miraculous nature of God that gives me the audacity to speculate about 'miracles'. Certain circumstances however, though sometimes regarded in the short term as merely co-incidental, when viewed from 50 years of age and almost half of that within a Christian perspective, tend to acquire a certain sensibility.

a friend once told me that a coincidence is an event where the author wishes to remain anonymous. i suspect he meant the word author to be capitalized.

it's 1950, i'm in this movie theatre in Birmingham, Michigan.  I'm 12 maybe 13 years old. the film is over, and so's the exciting episode number eleven of rocketman, and now i'm watching the end of the movietone news. there are flags waving as the camera lense turns toward us the viewing audience and as we are 'zoomed' in toward it's inquisitive glass front, the theme plays and i respond by leaning in (at approximately the same rate) toward the screen. as the lights come on and i stand up from my corner seat, i glance down and spot a brand new shiny 50 cent piece laying on the carpet. 'aha', i muse silently to myself, 'a reward from the film gods for interacting with them!' i lean forward maybe 20 or 30 times more during the next several years of movienews watching. soberingly, there are no more monetary rewards.

i'm told that connections like this for a child are commonplace and throughout the first 16 years or so there is a process of weeding the illusionary from the reality for us 'rocketmen'. i suppose that even as adults we are trying to separate the real from the illusionary...preferring to conduct ourselves as missourians (only believe what i see) so as not to appear too foolish when some oasis or another vanishes.

one of the costs of pride i suppose is to lose touch with our belief system. PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON  spoke to the child in all of us and in an abstract sense succeeded in opening up the door of our imaginations at least to remember how it was to invest our private concerns in a companion who was always there.

yet, prayer inevitably yields results. either directly by a seemingly immediate answer (though seldom as specifically as we had designated), or indirectly by the prayer's effect on our lives by the praying. sometimes these results are called a miracle...dependant, i suppose, on how probable we had assumed its enactment.

if prayer takes the form of a beseeching conversation with God, then it strikes me that there invariably is the 'give' part and then there is the 'give me' part. the 'give' part is worship and thankfulness and grace around the table and relief when one of the 'give me' prayers have been answered. so much for the 'give' prayers. now, i've pretty much seen my 'give me' prayer life evolve in three steps: the first delivered up to age 9, called 'if You're REALLY there would you give me that little dog that i saw in the window yesterday', the second used from age 10 to...well, actually i was still praying this prayer up until i was 30, 'if You get me out of this i'll never do it again', and finally the one that took me so long to learn, 'Thy Will be done...'

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