Have you wondered what miracles really are? Have you often asked yourself if there really are miracles out there? Several weeks ago, I went to see the movie "Miracles from Heaven" and more than being a really uplifting movie, it also reassured me of the existence of miracles in the world around us — even when we can't see them happing.
I guess we expect something extremely out of the ordinary to happen, something really transcendental, something without explanation, for us to consider it a miracle. We're so focused on those "criteria" that make a miracle, a miracle, that we unfortunately miss the little miracles happening around us.
The movie shines some light on several topics: how not to lose our strongest and safest shelter — our faith — and how to recognize those miracles happening in our lives.
As a mother, a Christian, and a nursing student, this movie touched me deeply. It is a story of an otherwise normal and healthy child who suddenly becomes very ill. Her family is a very religious family, whose faith, love and unity become tested. It is the story of a child who does not understand why her pain won't go away although she has prayed to be healed; a mother who loses her faith as she struggles to find a way to help remove her child's pain; a father who faces economic disturbances with this unexpected illness and, refusing to lose faith, is doing everything he can to keep his family afloat, but moreover, faithful; a loving doctor who tries as hard as he can with all his knowledge to make this child better and the frustrations he faces — as a doctor and as human being — when he is not able to make her better. This is the sad side of the movie: the faces and the tears of the mother, the father, the doctor, the nurses — all those who are fighting fiercely to make this child better against the odds.
But then, there is also the beautiful side of the story, because just as in life, sometimes we have sad moments, but we also have beautiful moments. This beautiful side is the one that reminds us that our faith is what keep us afloat in troubling times, along with those little miracles that happen every day around us, sometimes in the ways least expected and often overlooked.
When she is closest to losing all her faith as she sees no improvement in her child, the mother takes a step back and starts recognizing the little miracles that are happening around her: the new receptionist at the doctor's office who risks her job interrupting this very famous doctor's meeting and goes above and beyond to get the little girl a next-day appointment despite a nine-month waiting list; the server at the restaurant who not only is extra nice to this family on one of those "not-going-so good" days, but also takes off work just to be their tour guide and take their mind off their current situation; the clerk at the airport counter who realizes the economic problems that this family is going through and manages to "trick" the system and issue them airline tickets so that they could all be together; and the rescue team members who, after an accident, all surround the family and join in prayer and do not rest until their child is rescued.
Haven't we all met a stranger who ended up being loved as family? Haven't we all had someone show up on a bad day and make it better? Haven't we all had friends praying for us when we needed it? Haven't we all had that one person who goes above and beyond to help us without even knowing us? We all have had these moments, and those have been miracles. These moments have shown us that to love and care are the true miracles in our lives. They have shown us that we are not alone, that there is always a kind soul who will show up in our lives when we need it the most and probably in ways that we least expect it.
The message of this movie is not only to be resilient and maintain our faith, but also to open our eyes and recognize the little miracles that happen in our lives every day — the hugs of our children; the love of family; the power and unity of prayer; the support of friends; the hope that we can find in our faith; the smile of a stranger who walks by; the kindness of those who cross our path and do things above and beyond their duty; the selfless love of those risking their lives to save ours; the doctors who won't give up on patient, the nurses who go home thinking about how to best help that patient — so many miracles surrounding us every day. We just need to open our eyes and our hearts and we will see them.