26 June, 2006

Magic vs. Miracles: New Grass on the Field

Yesterday afternoon found me driving back from a brunch - a cancer research fundraiser in honor of my late brother. In the backseat was the divinely serendipitous baseball 'care package' that had arrived just before the anniversary of my grandfather's death earlier this month: a pair of signed, 'Isaiah 40:31 batting gloves, a Christ-testifying baseball card and several other items.

I had brought it along to show my mother on the drive over. On the way back, my six-year-old niece picked it up. At that very moment (and I mean that quite literally - as if my niece had switched the station herself), the song on the radio changed to... 'Centerfield' by John Fogerty.

Well, beat the drum and hold the phone - the sun came out today!
We're born again, there's new grass on the field.
A-roundin' third, and headed for home, it's a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.

My brother had deep brown eyes. He was, by all accounts, a handsome man. He was born again, shortly before he 'headed home' last October. He loved watching baseball with his daughter (my niece) in his lap.

I pointed out the lyrics to my mom. She 'got it' immediately. My niece did too (she's frighteningly perceptive for not-quite six and a half). She giggled. "You mean these gloves are magic?", she asked, picking them up again, looking half-expectantly at the radio.

"No honey, they're not magic," I replied. "Miracles aren't magic. They may seem magical to us, but that's not the right word. Miracles are not something we make happen. God gives us miracles as gifts. God and your daddy just wanted to remind us that they're still with us."

I hope that anyone can understand the way I feel: utterly jubilant and grateful at the regular reminders that there not only is grass on the other side, but that it is green and lush and new.