Miracles, Disappointment and Reminders

In the film The Miracle Club, Lily, Chrissie, Eileen and Dolly head off to Lourdes looking for, as you might expect, a miracle or two. Dolly’s son Daniel has never spoken and she longs for him to find his voice there. But the group need much for than physical miracles, their past looms large over them, keeping them caged in pain and unforgiveness, and it’s emotional healing that the group need as much as physical repair. Jesus healed many people as he walked on this earth, emotionally as well as physically. When a woman who had been ill for twelve years reached out to grab at his clothes in Mark 5, he refused to let her go with only her body repaired. She had been ostracised and insulted and rejected for over a decade. Made to feel as if she were rubbish. And Jesus knew that. He waited for her to step forward, so he could lift up her head, look into her eyes and show her how much God cared for her, how precious she was, and so that the community would know she had been made clean now. It must have meant so much when she he called her ‘Daughter’. Many of us need regular reminders that we are precious to God, and that his love makes us clean.
When Elijah triumphed on Mount Carmel (in 1 Kings 18 and 19) and proved once and for all that his God is the only living God, he expected the world to change for the better. Instead he had to flee for his life. Alone and terrified, and feeling as if he were the only one who was right in a world that was against him, he decided to give up. What was the point now? What else could he do, if nobody wanted to know the living God? He might as well curl up and die. But God understood that, he could see his shattered hopes and emotions. He knew Elijah had lost all healthy perspective. And leading him to a cave, he drew him close, close enough to hear his whispered voice. God still wanted him, he still cared. God had come looking for him, and God had more for him to do. He understood Elijah’s fear and disappointment, as he understands ours, and he had come to help him take another step forward.

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