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When a Miracle Doesn’t Happen

Somewhere in our human psyche and culture we’ve been taught to “stay positive”, “never lose hope”, and to, “pray for a miracle”.

You see it all the time, the crowd circling around the suffering with the vulture like chants we’ve been raised on, “God won’t give you more than you can handle”, “look for the lesson”, and “keep fighting”.

But what happens when there is no miracle?

When the little girl doesn’t walk again, when the cancer spreads, when the battle is “lost”.

Let’s be honest, it just feels good to stay in that zone of ‘hope’- it’s easier there, there is still light. We aren’t forced to deep dive into a place where we won’t know the way.

As someone who has crossed the finish line with no confetti cannon, I can say with confidence there is a toxic trait we possess not allowing ourselves to digest this thing called life and that it is going to end, won’t make sense and damnit, it’s going to hurt so so bad.

We leave people scrambling for the silver lining, digging through the piles of dust, desperate to grasp the miracle they’d been promised. Then, when it wasn’t there and no one could face their gaze, they are left defeated and scared because they were not warned sometimes there isn’t the ending that played in the trailer. The story highlights we saw were created in an effort to protect strangers from feeling the bitter pain we do not get to hide from.

We are pulled into another theatre in a hush to see the true ending- yet back out in the hall we’re met with the smiles of hope from whatever the hell was showing in cinema #9. For some reason, in an effort not to be the spoiler, you smile back because it’s just easier on everyone and someday they’ll get through the trilogy themselves.

Spoiler alert: sometimes there isn’t a happy ending.

I want you to know,  I will be someone you don’t have to pretend around. You can tell me the ending and I’ll gasp with you like it’s my first time seeing it. Silence and smiles aren’t the only way to respond to pain.

I will sit with you in the wreckage and howl. Because sometimes, you right here, you right now- and all your mess and darkness- you are the miracle.

 

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