Everyday miracles: How loss and pain can bring us nearer God

So often I meet people who say they aren't Christian but that they are spiritual people. I believe them. Whoever we are, we sometimes get that sense of the sheer miracle of life – even though the business of being alive is often wearisome and hard beyond hard. Even when everything is wrong, we still have our lives.

I have been thinking a lot about my dear friend Adrian Borland. He had been my idol. To explain, he led my all-time favourite band The Sound (the greatest lost band of the 80s). His songs were, and are, my soundtrack. Adrian was one of the few true geniuses I ever had the privilege to work with. I remember him turning up at the remote studio where we were recording our album. He had a cup of tea, plugged in his guitar and played the best solo I've ever heard.

PixabayEveryday miracles point to the goodness of God.

He seemed indestructible, but he had been grievously ill and eventually he lost an unequal fight. All these years later, I still find myself thinking about him.

In a way, his death gave me a strong sense of the fragility of life and the importance of hope. Both things paved the way for my conversion many years later.

I find myself in awe of our delicate hold on life and try to remind myself of the things I am grateful for and which cause me to feel amazed. Over the years, I have begun to take less and less for granted.

Here is an example. I was in Edinburgh a week ago, taking a short break to do some writing. I sustained what can only be called a First World injury. Cutting a bagel (it was composed of the usual dough and 'ancient seeds') I let the knife slip and cut the very top of my finger nearly off. I got myself by taxi to A&E. An hour or so later, I emerged with finger top glued on and a warning to be more careful in the future.

The week in between has been oddly awesome. First, my body produced some blood that clotted and formed a natural barrier to keep out infection. A scab formed. Then, the skin began to grow back. Finally, the old skin was rejected by my body and fell off. My finger is good as new and an odd metaphor for the power of restoration.

What an everyday miracle. It happened without me consciously doing anything. It just happened that I was, and am, repaired.

I know it is possible to watch such a thing and put all the credit on simple biology, but I see God's hand (sorry) at work in fixing my finger. Life is simply a miracle and the small everyday repairs our body carries out fill me with a sense of the creative and amazing God who keeps all the plates spinning.

I don't know why my own restoration brought back so many memories of my dear lost friend. It might be that I  suddenly caught sight of how much it means to be alive and how much we miss those who have gone before us. I wish I could have repaired my friend when he needed it.

As I approach 60, I am grateful that I got this far and I intend to try to make the very most of every day in his honour and memory. God bless you Adrian.

Rev Steve Morris is the parish priest of St Cuthbert's North Wembley. Before being a priest he was a writer and ran a brand agency. In the 1980s he tried to become a pop star. Follow him on Twitter @SteveMorris214

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