Monday, September 9, 2013

Guest Post: Mining the Miraculous

Today I'm delighted to have my beautiful-hearted friend, Wendy Paine Miller, visiting my blog. Her novella, THE DISAPPEARING KEY, comes out next month. I've loved Wendy since I first stumbled across her blog several years ago. Wendy asks hard questions, thinks deeply, and always has something amazing to share from her personal journey. Congratulations, Wendy, on the release of your book!



How would you define the word miracle? What shape would you give it? How would you explain the meaning of miracle while speaking to someone who knew very little about our culture?

I’m asking because I explore the phenomenon of miracles in my debut novella, THE DISAPPEARING KEY.

I wasn’t sure that was exactly what would come out of this work. Often writing a novel (or novella in this case) is like opening a well-wrapped Christmas gift. As I peel off layer upon layer I begin to understand what it is I’m holding.

And at the core of THE DISAPPEARING KEY I’m beginning to see how there’s an undeniable mining of the miraculous.

Apparently, I’m curious about miracles. That’s what my writing does—it points me to those things that deeply intrigue me.

I broach numerous miracle-related questions in my novella. Things like can we create our own miracles? Can something that is once deemed a miracle diminish—lose its marvel? And how does the way we understand miracles influence whether we’re able to identify them as such? 

One of the main characters, fourteen-year-old, Oriana Bivane confesses toward the end of the novella:
“Because isn’t that what makes a miracle a miracle? The lack of explanation.” 

Have you ever experienced a miracle in your life? Back to my earlier question, how would explain what a miracle is to someone?

Here are a few more miracle-related quotes that caught my attention:

“Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree on what they are made of, where they come from, or how often they should appear.” ~ Lemony Snicket, The Carnivorous  Carnival
 
“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” ~ C.S. Lewis
 
“Slowly, very slowly, he sat up, and as he did so he felt more alive, and more aware of his own living body than ever before. Why had he never appreciated what a miracle he was, brain and nerve and bounding heart? It would all be gone...or at least, he would be gone from it. His breath came slow and deep, and his mouth and throat were completely dry, but so were his eyes.” ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

11 comments:

  1. Interesting thoughts, Wendy! And nice to "see" you, Amy! I have heard a miracle defined as something outside the natural order of nature...in other words, God changes the way things normally happen. Therefore, a baby's birth isn't actually miraculous (though it sure seems like it!) unless something outside the natural way of things happens (for instance they start breathing after death). I always thought that was a very apt definition. Can't wait to read your book, Wendy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Heather. You touched upon one of the miracles in the novella. And I can't wait until book clubs start discussing their thoughts on whether it to be as such. Glad you swung by!

      Delete
  2. Miracles are interesting. Like you said, what one person sees as a miracle, isn't seen that way by another. I personally like to think of miracles as God's hand in our lives. So I would say that a baby's birth is a miracle. Miracles can be such small things sometimes (like when I held my temper during my son's last temper tantrum), but I don't think that makes it any less miraculous. It's just up to us to recognize it as such. :) I look forward to your novella, Wendy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Janet! I love this...how the conversation and thoughts are already churning about this topic. It makes me wish I could sit in on every single book club discussing my novella. I find births pretty miraculous too. My youngest (6) asked me yesterday if all babies come out naked. ;-)

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful idea for a novella! I always consider my supportive family my miracle. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a cool way to look at family! And thanks. I'm hoping women take a lot away from it!

      Delete
  4. Oh, what a lovely spotlight! I'll definitely have to check this out given I see miracles in daily life. A prayer answered, a token, a gift, even a closed door (in retrospect).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah Vijaya, I see the world like this too. Probably what inspired me to write THE DISAPPEARING KEY. ;-)

      Delete
  5. Thank you both for bringing us this lovely conversation! I see miracles as the hand of God...and I see them everywhere, in small and large things. Yes, God set the world in motion miraculously, but I thank Him for sustaining us every day after that. He gives us so many gifts--and not every one has to be dramatic and life-changing--but that's not to say some of them aren't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And another thing I love about miracles is often the mystery surrounding them. I find it freeing that I don't have to know how everything came to be. It teaches trust.

      Delete
  6. Did you know you can shorten your long links with Shortest and get cash for every visit to your shortened links.

    ReplyDelete