Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wednesdays with Words: Miracles Happen



When I was a teen, I had my Bible sitting open in my room one day and I came home to find a sticker in the midle of it that said "Miracles Happen for those who Believe."

I assume my mom put it there, but to this day, I'm not certain who did.  I'm pretty sure it didn't spontaneously appear.

It almost took a miracle for this post to occur.

I read my first Chesterton story last night and this morning.  In the complete Father Brown, the first story is The Blue Cross.  The Blue Cross is filled with colors (blue, green, yellow, gold, silver) and discussions of reason.

Ilove how Chesterton is emphatic that reason is important, but not the be-all end-all.

Smack dab in the middle, though, is one quote that stood out:


Valentin, the French Inspector we spend the majority of the story with, thinks a lot about reason and how reason is important but can be insufficient. That humans are not "thinking machines" and there are limits to reason - the French Revolution critiques "pure reason."  Valentin is on the look-out for cues (not clues) in the pursuit of the wicked Flambeau and follows the oddities - the out of place - and disparages the Englishman who asks for proof. 

At the end, while Flambeau and Father Brown discuss reason and it's consistency throughout the universe, Valentin reflects:
But when Valentin thought of all that had ahppened in between, of all that had led him to his triumph, he racked his brains for the smallest rhyme or reason in it. What had the stealing of a blue-and-silver cross from a priest from Essex to do with chucking soup at wall paper? What had it to do with calling nuts oranges, or with paying for windows first and breaking them afterwards? He had come to the end of his chase; yet somehow he had missed the middle of it. When he failed (which was seldom), he had usually grasped the clue but nevertheless missed the criminal. Here he had grasped the criminal, but still he could not grasp the clue. 
Reason can take us so far, but sometimes miracles and cues we won't understand in this life lead us to the places we want to be - with or without the specific rationale behind those miracles or cues.  We must attend to the cues, watch for the miracles, and learn to see the Master.






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