Surprises And Miracles Quotes

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Well, I suppose I could follow his advice. Are you hungry?” “Surprisingly enough, not at the moment.” “Will miracles never cease?” “Ha,” I said
Chloe Neill (Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3))
Never surrender your hopes and dreams to the fateful limitations others have placed on their own lives. The vision of your true destiny does not reside within the blinkered outlook of the naysayers and the doom prophets. Judge not by their words, but accept advice based on the evidence of actual results. Do not be surprised should you find a complete absence of anything mystical or miraculous in the manifested reality of those who are so eager to advise you. Friends and family who suffer the lack of abundance, joy, love, fulfillment and prosperity in their own lives really have no business imposing their self-limiting beliefs on your reality experience.
Anthon St. Maarten
Like This If anyone asks you how the perfect satisfaction of all our sexual wanting will look, lift your face and say, Like this. When someone mentions the gracefulness of the nightsky, climb up on the roof and dance and say, Like this. If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is, or what "God’s fragrance" means, lean your head toward him or her. Keep your face there close. Like this. When someone quotes the old poetic image about clouds gradually uncovering the moon, slowly loosen knot by knot the strings of your robe. Like this. If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead, don’t try to explain the miracle. Kiss me on the lips. Like this. Like this. When someone asks what it means to "die for love," point here. If someone asks how tall I am, frown and measure with your fingers the space between the creases on your forehead. This tall. The soul sometimes leaves the body, the returns. When someone doesn’t believe that, walk back into my house. Like this. When lovers moan, they’re telling our story. Like this. I am a sky where spirits live. Stare into this deepening blue, while the breeze says a secret. Like this. When someone asks what there is to do, light the candle in his hand. Like this. How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob? Huuuuu. How did Jacob’s sight return? Huuuu. A little wind cleans the eyes. Like this. When Shams comes back from Tabriz, he’ll put just his head around the edge of the door to surprise us Like this.
Rumi
You know, my young friend, I will be ninety years old next year, and life is still a constant surprise to me. We never know what will happen next, what we will see, and what important person will come into our life, or what important person we will lose. Life is change, constant change, and unless we are lucky enough to find comedy in it, change is nearly always a drama, if not a tragedy. But after everything, and even when the skies turn scarlet and threatening, I still believe that if we are lucky enough to be alive, we must give thanks for the miracle of every moment of every day, no matter how flawed.
Mark T. Sullivan (Beneath a Scarlet Sky)
Bad things will happen and good things too. Your life will be full of surprises. Miracles happen only where there has been suffering. So taste your grief to the fullest. Don’t try and press it down. Don’t hide from it. Don’t escape. It is life too. It is truth. But it will pass and time will put a strange honey in the bitterness. That’s the way life goes.
Ben Okri (Dangerous Love)
In this moment Do not wait to be beautiful. Be your beautiful, authentic self right now. If the world offers up negativity and despair, surprise the world by giving back love and kindness. Send out the energy that you wish to experience, and you are certain to experience it. Happiness and fulfillment are alive in this moment. Allow them to flow freely and creatively through your life. Fall in love all over again with the miracle of being. Your imagination is great and magnificent, yet it cannot hold even a fraction of the possibilities. You'll do, say and act your best when you feel your best. Feel the limitless wonder of this very moment. Be beautiful, alive, aware and filled with the energy of the possible. In this moment, is every dream made and fulfilled
Ralph S. Marston Jr.
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..." "It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself." "The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.” “You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.” “If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.” “If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.” "Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing." "There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark." "But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'” "When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.” “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
Shut up, Kelsey, and just give Lissa a chance," Chloe snapped. Kelsey mocked surprise. "Oh my God, Chloe can speak? I thought her mouth only worked for sucking dicks. It's a miracle.
Kody Keplinger (Shut Out (Hamilton High, #2))
Knowing is not simply a material act, since the object that is known always conceals something beyond the empirical datum. All our knowledge, even the most simple, is always a minor miracle, since it can never be fully explained by the material instruments that we apply to it. In every truth there is something more than we would have expected, in the love that we receive there is always an element that surprises us.
Benedict XVI (Charity in Truth: Caritas in Veritate)
Together they waited for the sky to flip over like the turning of a page, the bone-colored moon giving way to a brilliant sun, the promise of a new day, and Ellie was surprised to find herself thinking of the little town in France, the one with all the miracles. She could only hope that in a place filled with so many wonders, it would have still been possible to appreciate something as remarkable and ordinary as all this.
Jennifer E. Smith (This Is What Happy Looks Like (This is What Happy Looks Like, #1))
I refer to them as miracles-although some may call them fortunate circumstances-because I believe there are no accidents or surprises with God.
Don Piper (90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life)
When we would say 'No way,' he would say, 'My way.' Then the ones who doubted would scramble to salvage the blessing. And the one who gave it would savor the surprise.
Max Lucado (Celebrating Christmas with Jesus: An Advent Devotional)
All she had to do was make the simplest of gestures - open her hands and let go her hold. She lifted one hand and moved the fingers of it; they responded, in surprise and obedience, and this obedience of a thousand little unsuspected muscles was in itself a miracle. Why ask for more?
Simone de Beauvoir (She Came to Stay)
-You know how to call me although such a noise now would only confuse the air Neither of us can forget the steps we danced the words you stretched to call me out of dust Yes I long for you not just as a leaf for weather or vase for hands but with a narrow human longing that makes a man refuse any fields but his own I wait for you at an unexpected place in your journey like the rusted key or the feather you do not pick up.- -I WILL NEVER FIND THE FACES FOR ALL GOODBYES I'VE MADE.- For Anyone Dressed in Marble The miracle we all are waiting for is waiting till the Parthenon falls down and House of Birthdays is a house no more and fathers are unpoisoned by renown. The medals and the records of abuse can't help us on our pilgrimage to lust, but like whips certain perverts never use, compel our flesh in paralysing trust. I see an orphan, lawless and serene, standing in a corner of the sky, body something like bodies that have been, but not the scar of naming in his eye. Bred close to the ovens, he's burnt inside. Light, wind, cold, dark -- they use him like a bride. I Had It for a Moment I had it for a moment I knew why I must thank you I saw powerful governing men in black suits I saw them undressed in the arms of young mistresses the men more naked than the naked women the men crying quietly No that is not it I'm losing why I must thank you which means I'm left with pure longing How old are you Do you like your thighs I had it for a moment I had a reason for letting the picture of your mouth destroy my conversation Something on the radio the end of a Mexican song I saw the musicians getting paid they are not even surprised they knew it was only a job Now I've lost it completely A lot of people think you are beautiful How do I feel about that I have no feeling about that I had a wonderful reason for not merely courting you It was tied up with the newspapers I saw secret arrangements in high offices I saw men who loved their worldliness even though they had looked through big electric telescopes they still thought their worldliness was serious not just a hobby a taste a harmless affectation they thought the cosmos listened I was suddenly fearful one of their obscure regulations could separate us I was ready to beg for mercy Now I'm getting into humiliation I've lost why I began this I wanted to talk about your eyes I know nothing about your eyes and you've noticed how little I know I want you somewhere safe far from high offices I'll study you later So many people want to cry quietly beside you
Leonard Cohen (Flowers for Hitler)
What if the things that ended –the things that broke and break your heart- what if it was the end of a chapter but the story keeps going? What it life comes back? What if love comes back? What if you would not be who you are and you would now know what you know it not for all those sleepless nights? I’m starting to believe those things, that the best is yet to be, that life comes back, that the dreams that live inside me are there for a reason, that life is not just a tragedy, not just a story about losing. It is also a story of surprises and grace and redemptions, of conversations and moments that feel like miracles.
Jamie Tworkowski (If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For)
So I would teach myself to live in constant uncertainty, moment by moment, step by step. I would live as if I were dead already. With nothing to lose, nothing could surprise me, nothing could stop me from fighting; my fears would not block me from following my instincts, and no risk would be too great.
Nando Parrado (Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home)
Ask and it shall be given you,'" I began. "'Seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.' We have the same message in the Book of Saint John," I said, sounding for all the world like a preacher...." Well, but how could I just stop there? Those words were worse than nothing if I didn't tell what they meant to Grandpa. Looking at the long rough box, I spoke timid, in a mumbled voice. Not preachified at all. "Grandpa didn't think Jesus meant, by that, that we should ast God for things, or for special favors. He said we could trust that in the nature of things, without astin', we'll get lots of blessin's and happy surprises and maybe a miracle or two. When Jesus said ast and you'll get it, He meant things of the spirit, not the flesh. Right now for instance, I could ast, 'Lord please raise Grandpa from the dead,' but it wouldn't happen. But I can say, 'Please, God, comfort me,' and I'll get heart's ease. Grandpa said Jesus meant us to ast for hope, forgiveness, and all that. Ast, 'Hep us not be scared, hep us not be greedy, give us courage to try." I was really carried away. "Ast any such and God will give it to you. But don't ast Him not to let fire burn, or say spare me from death. At least, uh, that's what Grandpa said.
Olive Ann Burns (Cold Sassy Tree)
But hope is not about what we expect. It is an embrace of the essential unknowability of the world, of the breaks with the present, the surprises. Or perhaps studying the record more carefully leads us to expect miracles - not when and where we expect them, but to expect to be astonished, to expect that we don't know. And this is grounds to act.
Rebecca Solnit (Hope in the Dark)
So if someone asks you if you are a Christian, you should not say, “Of course!” There should be no “of course-ness” about it. It would be more appropriate to say, “Yes, I am, and that’s a miracle. Me! A Christian! Who would have ever thought it? Yet he did it, and I’m his.” SHE
Timothy J. Keller (Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ)
...I don't ever want to feel that way. Feel as if there are no surprises left. The surprises make life worth living. Expecting nothing, accepting it all. Accepting isn't the right word. ACKNOWLEDGING it all. I suppose I'll just try to figure it out as I go or at least try to understand it. Or f***, just think about it. I'll face whatever comes my way...
John O'Callaghan
Surprisingly, the Christian faith today is perceived as disconnected from the supernatural world – a dimension that the vast majority of outsiders believe can be accessed and influenced.
David Kinnaman (Unchristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity...and Why It Matters)
A surprising fact about the magician Bernard Kornblum, Joe remembered, was that he believed in magic. Not in the so-called magic of candles, pentagrams, and bat wings. Not in the kitchen enchantments of Slavic grandmothers with their herbiaries and parings from the little toe of a blind virgin tied up in a goatskin bag. Not in astrology, theosophy, chiromancy, dowsing rods, séances, weeping statues, werewolves, wonders, or miracles. What bewitched Bernard Kornblum, on the contrary, was the impersonal magic of life, when he read in a magazine about a fish that could disguise itself as any one of seven different varieties of sea bottom, or when he learned from a newsreel that scientists had discovered a dying star that emitted radiation on a wavelength whose value in megacycles approximated π. In the realm of human affairs, this type of enchantment was often, though not always, a sadder business—sometimes beautiful, sometimes cruel. Here its stock-in-trade was ironies, coincidences, and the only true portents: those that revealed themselves, unmistakable and impossible to ignore, in retrospect.
Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay)
Just about every animal,” Scott says—not just mammals and birds—“can learn, recognize individuals, and respond to empathy.” Once you find the right way to work with an animal, be it an octopus or an anaconda, together, you can accomplish what even Saint Francis might have considered a miracle.
Sy Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness)
Of all the strange phenomena that befell us that year, maybe nothing surprised me more than the sound of that small question rolling out of Seth Moreno's mouth: "Want to come?
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
Even feigning surprise, pretending it was unexpected and saying a ritual thanks, is surely wiser than just expecting everything so carelessly.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
The only surprising thing about miracles, however small, is that they sometimes happen.
Dylan Thomas (Quite Early One Morning: Stories)
And Quell asked, 'Ah, but what is nature?' Socrates answered, sparks showering, 'God surprising himself with odd miracles of flesh.
Ray Bradbury (Now and Forever)
For days afterward, a series of magical thoughts flew through my mind. For instance, it seemed somehow surprising that the hours continued to pass in spite of what I knew. It was almost shocking that time did not, in fact, stop.
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
Sometimes love started with bewildering passion and then grew deeper through friendship; sometimes it started with deep friendship and surprised everybody-especially the two "best friends-with it's sudden romantic fire. Either way, love seemed both meant to be and a miracle.
Elizabeth Chandler (Everafter (Kissed by an Angel #6))
One day we came home from some errands to find a grocery sack of [zucchini] hanging on our mailbox. The perpetrator, of course, was nowhere in sight ... Garrison Keillor says July is the only time of year when country people lock our cars in the church parking lot, so people won't put squash on the front seat. I used to think that was a joke ... It's a relaxed atmosphere in our little town, plus our neighbors keep an eye out and will, if asked, tell us the make and model of every vehicle that ever enters the lane to our farm. So the family was a bit surprised when I started double-checking the security of doors and gates any time we all were about to leave the premises. "Do I have to explain the obvious?" I asked impatiently. "Somebody might break in and put zucchini in our house.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
That was the splendid thing about life: Though it was cruel, it was also mysterious, filled with wonder and surprise; sometimes the surprises were so amazing that they qualified as miraculous, and by witnessing those miracles, a despondent person could discover a reason to live, a cynic could obtain unexpected relief from ennui, and a profoundly wounded boy could find the will to heal himself and medicine for melancholy.
Dean Koontz (Lightning)
Why,' I said, quite surprised by my own eloquence in inventing all this stuff, 'it happens every day. The old old story. Boys and girls fall in love, that is, they are driven mad and go blind and deaf and see each other not as human animals with comic noses and bandy legs and voices like frogs, but as angels so full of shining goodness that like hollow turnips with candles put into them, they seem miracles of beauty. And the next minute the candles shoot out sparks and burn their eyes. And they seem to each other like devils, full of spite and cruelty. And they will drive each other mad unless they have grown some imagination. Even enough to laugh.
Joyce Cary (The Horse's Mouth)
To boast wonder takes great courage. Being left speechless with joy is not for the weak. We forget to be surprised by everyday miracles, like toast springing up, the mesmerizing blue in the sky, or even simple friendships. To touch and remember this delicate sense of wonder, we travel. We deliberately let ourselves become tourists to welcome in this unique delight.
Edmond Manning
I had approached God, or my idea of God, without love, without awe, even without fear. He was, in my mental picture of this miracle, to appear neither as Saviour nor as Judge, but merely as a magician; and when He had done what was required on Him I supposed He would simply – well, go away. It never crossed my mind that the tremendous contact which I solicited should have any consequences beyond restoring the status quo.
C.S. Lewis (Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life)
Fitz’s human clothes are a huge snoozefest. Check out what Dex and I found in Alvar’s closet!” They both unzipped their hoodies, revealing T-shirts with logos underneath. “I have no idea what this means, but it’s crazy awesome, right?” Keefe asked, pointing to the black and yellow oval on his shirt. “It’s from Batman,” Sophie said—then regretted the words. Of course Keefe demanded she explain the awesomeness of the Dark Knight. “I’m wearing this shirt forever, guys,” he decided. “Also, I want a Batmobile! Dex, can you make that happen?” Sophie wouldn’t have been surprised if Dex actually could build one. As a Technopath, he worked miracles with technology. He’d made all kinds of cool gadgets for Sophie, including the lopsided ring she wore—a special panic switch that had saved her life during her fight with one of her kidnappers. “What’s my shirt from?” Dex asked, pointing to the logo with interlocking yellow W’s. Sophie didn’t have the heart to tell him it was the symbol for Wonder Woman.
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))
Miracles and happiness are a lot like each other in many ways. It is difficult to predict what will trigger a miracle. Some people go their entire lives full of persistent darkness and never feel the need to seek out a miracle. Others find they can exist with darkness only for a single night before they go hunting for a miracle to remove it. Some need only one miracle; others might have two or three or four or five over the course of their lives. Happiness is the same way. One can never tell what will make one person happy and leave another untouched. Often even the person involved will be surprised by what makes them happy. And it turns out that owls find both miracles and happiness irresistible.
Maggie Stiefvater (All the Crooked Saints)
Generate happy moments. . . make miracles happen. Love is a miracle too.
Sahara Sanders (Romantic Activities and Surprises: 800 Dating Ideas (Win the Heart of a Woman of Your Dreams, #7))
Let me tell you something: Never give up. God can soften the hardest heart. If you have been praying for a loved one for twenty years, do not stop! God will save people from sin; He will deliver them from bondage to drugs or alcohol. His love can melt a heart of stone—so, again, never give up!
Surprise Sithole (Voice in the Night: The True Story of a Man and the Miracles That Are Changing Africa)
The Magi in my life have always surprised me. They have often been people I initially felt I had nothing in common with. Sometimes I didn't even like them. But they came bearing gifts. Of wisdom, or acceptance. One or two came to give me a kick in the pants...and some left as suddenly as they came. They returned to their respective homelands or continued on their own journeys. I miss some of them... But we all have to find our way toward what ever miracle awaits us. And to perform miracles, when it is in our power to do so. Maybe the most important question is: how do I serve the Magi for others? How generously do I give my gifts - and not just to the obvious recipients in my life? How far out of my way do go to recognize and pay homage to miracles? Not very far some days. But on good days, just far enough.
Juliette Fay (Shelter Me)
If it weren’t for public transportation,” Sam said, “my brother wouldn’t be getting married today. He and Maggie fell in love along the ferry route from Bellingham to Anacortes … which brings to mind the old saying that life is a journey. Some people have a natural sense of direction. You could put them in the middle of a foreign country and they could find their way around. My brother is not one of those people.” Sam paused as some of the guests started laughing, and his older brother gave him a mock-warning glance. “So when Mark by some miracle manages to end up where he was supposed to be, it’s a nice surprise for everyone, including Mark.” More laughter from the crowd. “Somehow, even with all the roadblocks and detours and one-way streets, Mark managed to find his way to Maggie.” Sam raised his glass. “To Mark and Maggie’s journey together. And to Holly, who is loved more than any girl in the whole wide world.
Lisa Kleypas (Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor, #2))
Hey,” Fitz said, leaning closer. “You trust me, don’t you?” Sophie’s traitorous heart still fluttered, despite her current annoyance. She did trust Fitz. Probably more than anyone. But having him keep secrets from her was seriously annoying. She was tempted to use her telepathy to steal the information straight from his head. But she’d broken that rule enough times to know the consequences definitely weren’t worth it. “What is with these clothes?” Biana interrupted, appearing out of thin air next to Keefe. Biana was a Vanisher, like her mother, though she was still getting used to the ability. Only one of her legs reappeared, and she had to hop up and down to get the other to show up. She wore a sweatshirt three sizes too big and faded, baggy jeans. “At least I get to wear my shoes,” she said, hitching up her pants to reveal purple flats with diamond-studded toes. “But why do we only have boy stuff?” “Because I’m a boy,” Fitz reminded her. “Besides, this isn’t a fashion contest.” “And if it was, I’d totally win. Right, Foster?” Keefe asked. Sophie actually would’ve given the prize to Fitz—his blue scarf worked perfectly with his dark hair and teal eyes. And his fitted gray coat made him look taller, with broader shoulders and— “Oh please.” Keefe shoved his way between them. “Fitz’s human clothes are a huge snoozefest. Check out what Dex and I found in Alvar’s closet!” They both unzipped their hoodies, revealing T-shirts with logos underneath. “I have no idea what this means, but it’s crazy awesome, right?” Keefe asked, pointing to the black and yellow oval on his shirt. “It’s from Batman,” Sophie said—then regretted the words. Of course Keefe demanded she explain the awesomeness of the Dark Knight. “I’m wearing this shirt forever, guys,” he decided. “Also, I want a Batmobile! Dex, can you make that happen?” Sophie wouldn’t have been surprised if Dex actually could build one. As a Technopath, he worked miracles with technology. He’d made all kinds of cool gadgets for Sophie, including the lopsided ring she wore—a special panic switch that had saved her life during her fight with one of her kidnappers. “What’s my shirt from?” Dex asked, pointing to the logo with interlocking yellow W’s. Sophie didn’t have the heart to tell him it was the symbol for Wonder Woman.
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))
She looked now at the drawing-room step. She saw, through William’s eyes, the shape of a woman, peaceful and silent, with downcast eyes. She sat musing, pondering (she was in grey that day, Lily thought). Her eyes were bent. She would never lift them. . . . [N]o, she thought, one could say nothing to nobody. The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again; then one became like most middle-aged people, cautious, furtive, with wrinkles between the eyes and a look of perpetual apprehension. For how could one express in words these emotions of the body? Express that emptiness there? (She was looking at the drawing-room steps; they looked extraordinarily empty.) It was one’s body feeling, not one’s mind. The physical sensations that went with the bare look of the steps had become suddenly extremely unpleasant. To want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have – to want and want – how that wrung the heart, and wrung again and again! Oh, Mrs. Ramsay! she called out silently, to that essence which sat by the boat, that abstract one made of her, that woman in grey, as if to abuse her for having gone, and then having gone, come back again. It had seemed so safe, thinking of her. Ghost, air, nothingness, a thing you could play with easily and safely at any time of day or night, she had been that, and then suddenly she put her hand out and wrung the heart thus. Suddenly, the empty drawing-room steps, the frill of the chair inside, the puppy tumbling on the terrace, the whole wave and whisper of the garden became like curves and arabesques flourishing round a centre of complete emptiness. . . . A curious notion came to her that he did after all hear the things she could not say. . . . She looked at her picture. That would have been his answer, presumably – how “you” and “I” and “she” pass and vanish; nothing stays; all changes; but not words, not paint. Yet it would be hung in the attics, she thought; it would be rolled up and flung under a sofa; yet even so, even of a picture like that, it was true. One might say, even of this scrawl, not of that actual picture, perhaps, but of what it attempted, that it “remained for ever,” she was going to say, or, for the words spoken sounded even to herself, too boastful, to hint, wordlessly; when, looking at the picture, she was surprised to find that she could not see it. Her eyes were full of a hot liquid (she did not think of tears at first) which, without disturbing the firmness of her lips, made the air thick, rolled down her cheeks. She had perfect control of herself – Oh, yes! – in every other way. Was she crying then for Mrs. Ramsay, without being aware of any unhappiness? She addressed old Mr. Carmichael again. What was it then? What did it mean? Could things thrust their hands up and grip one; could the blade cut; the fist grasp? Was there no safety? No learning by heart of the ways of the world? No guide, no shelter, but all was miracle, and leaping from the pinnacle of a tower into the air? Could it be, even for elderly people, that this was life? – startling, unexpected, unknown? For one moment she felt that if they both got up, here, now on the lawn, and demanded an explanation, why was it so short, why was it so inexplicable, said it with violence, as two fully equipped human beings from whom nothing should be hid might speak, then, beauty would roll itself up; the space would fill; those empty flourishes would form into shape; if they shouted loud enough Mrs. Ramsay would return. “Mrs. Ramsay!” she said aloud, “Mrs. Ramsay!” The tears ran down her face.
Virginia Woolf
I stare at the water. He stares at me. I can feel his gaze burning into my face, and I shift my head again, smiling wryly. “Let’s hear it.” “Hear what?” “Some more lies. You know, how last night was just you doing me a favor, you don’t really want me, yada, yada.” I wave my hand. To my surprise, he laughs. “Oh my God. Was that a laugh? Reed Royal laughs, folks. Someone call the Vatican because an honest-to-God miracle has occurred.” That gets me another chuckle. “You’re so annoying,” he grumbles. “Yeah, but you still like me.” He goes quiet. I think he’s going to stay that way, but then he curses under his breath and says, “Yeah, maybe I do.” I feign amazement. “Two miracles in one night? Is the world ending?
Erin Watt, Paper Princess
By the time I reached the coffee-shop door, however, my self-confidence had collapsed. Panic had taken its place. I believed that I was the ugliest, dirtiest little old bum in Manhattan. If I went into the coffee shop everybody would be nauseated. They would throw me out and tell me to go to the Bowery, where I belonged. But I somehow found the courage to go in anyway - and imagine my surprise! It was a though I had died and gone to heaven! A waitress said to me, "Honeybunch, you sit right own, and I'll bring you your coffee right away." I hadn't said anything to her. So I did sit down, and everywhere I looked I saw customers of every description being received with love. To the waitress everybody was "honeybunch" and "darling" and "dear". It was like an emergency ward after a great catastrophe. It did not matter what race or class the victims belonged to. They were all given the same miracle drug, which was coffee. The catastrophe in this case, of course, was that the sun had come up again. I had the feeling that if Frankenstein's monster crashed into the coffee shop through a brick wall, all anybody would say to him was, "You sit down here, Lambchop, and I'll bring your coffee right away.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Jailbird)
How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face, and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms. No, I cannot free myself from you, because I am you, though not completely. And besides, where would I go? Would I establish another? I would not be able to establish it without the same faults, for they are the same faults I carry in me. And if I did establish another, it would be my Church, not the Church of Christ. I am old enough to know that I am no better than anyone else. …) The Church has the power to make me holy but it is made up, from the first to the last, only of sinners. And what sinners! It has the omnipotent and invincible power to renew the Miracle of the Eucharist, but is made up of men who are stumbling in the dark, who fight every day against the temptation of losing their faith. It brings a message of pure transparency but it is incarnated in slime, such is the substance of the world. It speaks of the sweetness of its Master, of its non-violence, but there was a time in history when it sent out its armies to disembowel the infidels and torture the heretics. It proclaims the message of evangelical poverty, and yet it does nothing but look for money and alliances with the powerful. Those who dream of something different from this are wasting their time and have to rethink it all. And this proves that they do not understand humanity. Because this is humanity, made visible by the Church, with all its flaws and its invincible courage, with the Faith that Christ has given it and with the love that Christ showers on it. When I was young, I did not understand why Jesus chose Peter as his successor, the first Pope, even though he abandoned Him. Now I am no longer surprised and I understand that by founding his church on the tomb of a traitor(…)He was warning each of us to remain humble, by making us aware of our fragility. (…) And what are bricks worth anyway? What matters is the promise of Christ, what matters is the cement that unites the bricks, which is the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of building the church with such poorly moulded bricks as are we. And that is where the mystery lies. This mixture of good and bad, of greatness and misery, of holiness and sin that makes up the church…this in reality am I .(…) The deep bond between God and His Church, is an intimate part of each one of us. (…)To each of us God says, as he says to his Church, “And I will betroth you to me forever” (Hosea 2,21). But at the same time he reminds us of reality: 'Your lewdness is like rust. I have tried to remove it in vain. There is so much that not even a flame will take it away' (Ezechiel 24, 12). But then there is even something more beautiful. The Holy Spirit who is Love, sees us as holy, immaculate, beautiful under our guises of thieves and adulterers. (…) It’s as if evil cannot touch the deepest part of mankind. He re-establishes our virginity no matter how many times we have prostituted our bodies, spirits and hearts. In this, God is truly God, the only one who can ‘make everything new again’. It is not so important that He will renew heaven and earth. What is most important is that He will renew our hearts. This is Christ’s work. This is the divine Spirit of the Church.
Carlo Carretto
There are individuals, who unfortunately are built with an immense amount of negativity. People will always tell you to run away from these types and when you follow that advice, you’ll be surprised to find yourself running into the same negativity in new people, and that scenario to be repeated again and again and again. Why? Well that’s only because it is in darkness that our light may shine it’s brightest. The more difficult the battle, the more important the victory. It’s easy to bring life forth from life; but to bring life forth from dry bones is truly a magical miracle. Those lights who have learned to shine in the deepest of darkness, are those lights that shine the strongest, the biggest, the hardest, the brightest. See the negativity in your life as a training ground and learn to love those who embody that darkness, because without them— you wouldn’t have gained any victories! Victories are gained through battles. This is the essence of the commandment “love your enemy.” There is no real enemy, for even the darkness is there to mold you into all that you may become.
C. JoyBell C.
Restaurant, bar, night club. . . Eat, drink, walk. . . YAWN. . . For some people, this is ALL they can think of when getting ready for a date. Isn’t a “shortlist” like this enough to make you and your girlfriend want to yawn? Why not fill your love story with truly wondrous and exciting activities, or surprise your date with something unusual and adventurous? Infuse your personal life with miracles and astonishment—not monotony. Isn’t this what everyone dreams of on our little planet? At the same time, who holds us back from fulfilling our own dreams, other than ourselves? Fill the life around you with joy. It will be returned to you tenfold. CREATE happy moments. . . MAKE miracles happen! LOVE is a miracle.
Sahara Sanders (Romantic Activities and Surprises: 800 Dating Ideas (Win the Heart of a Woman of Your Dreams, #7))
Some people are rebelling against Jesus,” I said. “Those people will go to hell because they have rejected the One who came to save us from our sins.
Surprise Sithole (Voice in the Night: The True Story of a Man and the Miracles That Are Changing Africa)
in terror. I believe that Satan cannot bear to hear the sound of God’s people laughing. Godly joy is one of our greatest weapons.
Surprise Sithole (Voice in the Night: The True Story of a Man and the Miracles That Are Changing Africa)
I have noticed that the more extreme a person’s initial call from God, the more challenging circumstances they will face in carrying out that call. One
Surprise Sithole (Voice in the Night: The True Story of a Man and the Miracles That Are Changing Africa)
A Swedish minister having assembled the chiefs of the Susquehanna Indians, made a sermon to them, acquainting them with the principal historical facts on which our religion is founded — such as the fall of our first parents by eating an apple, the coming of Christ to repair the mischief, his miracles and suffering, etc. When he had finished an Indian orator stood up to thank him. ‘What you have told us,’ says he, ‘is all very good. It is indeed bad to eat apples. It is better to make them all into cider. We are much obliged by your kindness in coming so far to tell us those things which you have heard from your mothers. In return, I will tell you some of those we have heard from ours. ‘In the beginning, our fathers had only the flesh of animals to subsist on, and if their hunting was unsuccessful they were starving. Two of our young hunters, having killed a deer, made a fire in the woods to boil some parts of it. When they were about to satisfy their hunger, they beheld a beautiful young woman descend from the clouds and seat herself on that hill which you see yonder among the Blue Mountains. ‘They said to each other, “It is a spirit that perhaps has smelt our broiling venison and wishes to eat of it; let us offer some to her.” They presented her with the tongue; she was pleased with the taste of it and said: “Your kindness shall be rewarded; come to this place after thirteen moons, and you will find something that will be of great benefit in nourishing you and your children to the latest generations.” They did so, and to their surprise found plants they had never seen before, but which from that ancient time have been constantly cultivated among us to our great advantage. Where her right hand had touched the ground they found maize; where her left had touched it they found kidney-beans; and where her backside had sat on it they found tobacco.’ The good missionary, disgusted with this idle tale, said: ‘What I delivered to you were sacred truths; but what you tell me is mere fable, fiction, and falsehood.’ The Indian, offended, replied: ‘My brother, it seems your friends have not done you justice in your education; they have not well instructed you in the rules of common civility. You saw that we, who understand and practise those rules, believed all your stories; why do you refuse to believe ours?
Benjamin Franklin (Remarks Concerning the Savages)
You know, my young friend, I will be ninety years old next year, and life is still a constant surprise to me. We never know what will happen next, what we will see, and what important person will come into our life, or what important person we will lose. Life is change, constant change, and unless we are lucky enough to find comedy in it, change is nearly always a drama, if not a tragedy. But after everything, and even when the skies turn scarlet and threatening, I still believe that if we are lucky enough to be alive, we must give thanks for the miracle of every moment of every day, no matter how flawed. And we must have faith in God, and in the Universe, and in a better tomorrow, even if that faith is not always deserved.” “Pino Lella’s prescription for a long, happy life?
Mark T. Sullivan
To boast wonder takes great courage. Being left speechless with joy is not for the weak. We forget to be surprised at everyday miracles, like toast springing up, the mesmerizing blue in the sky, or even simple friendships.
Edmond Manning (King Perry (The Lost and Founds, #1))
You may have read or heard about the so-called positive thinkers of the West. They say just the opposite -- they don't know what they are saying. They say, "When you breathe out, throw out all your misery and negativity; and when you breathe in, breathe in joy, positivity, happiness, cheerfulness." Atisha's method is just the opposite: when you breathe in, breathe in all the misery and suffering of all the beings of the world -- past, present and future. And when you breathe out, breathe out all the joy that you have, all the blissfulness that you have, all the benediction that you have. Breathe out, pour yourself into existence. This is the method of compassion: drink in all the suffering and pour out all the blessings. And you will be surprised if you do it. The moment you take all the sufferings of the world inside you, they are no longer sufferings. The heart immediately transforms the energy. The heart is a transforming force: drink in misery, and it is transformed into blissfulness... then pour it out. Once you have learned that your heart can do this magic, this miracle, you would like to do it again and again. Try it. It is one of the most practical methods -- simple, and it brings immediate results. Do it today, and see. That is one of the approaches of Buddha and all his disciples. Atisha is one of his disciples, in the same tradition, in the same line. Buddha says again and again to his disciples, "IHI PASSIKO: come and see!" They are very scientific people. Buddhism is the most scientific religion on the earth; hence, Buddhism is gaining more and more ground in the world every day. As the world becomes more intelligent, Buddha will become more and more important. It is bound to be so. As more and more people come to know about science, Buddha will have great appeal, because he will convince the scientific mind -- because he says, "Whatsoever I am saying can be practiced." And I don't say to you, "Believe it," I say, "Experiment with it, experience it, and only then if you feel it yourself, trust it. Otherwise there is no need to believe.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom)
Uncertainty leaves us open to doubt, yes, but it also opens us up to splendor and joy and wonderful surprise. To the beauty of hope. Nothing is certain, nothing is known, but it is in those moments of our greatest uncertainty that miracles happen.
Kimberly Belle (Dear Wife)
The rage bubbling up from our impoverished and disenfranchised working class presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash. I spent two years traveling the country to write a book on the Christian Right called American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. I visited former manufacturing towns where for many the end of the world is no longer an abstraction. They have lost hope. Fear and instability have plunged the working classes into profound personal and economic despair, and, not surprisingly, into the arms of the demagogues and charlatans of the radical Christian Right who offer a belief in magic, miracles, and the fiction of a utopian Christian nation. And unless we rapidly re-enfranchise our dispossessed workers into the economy, unless we give them hope, our democracy is doomed.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
Earth was the winner of the ultimate lotto, with 500 million to one odds, this one planet, of comparable, size to its other 17 billion siblings, became the life force of the universe itself. But the inhabitants of earth did not just inherit life, they inherited all that life has to offer a sentient species. It offers them —as a gift— love, joy, surprise, wonder, friendship, as well as spirituality, art, literature, music, and most importantly morality. A morality that is capable of reaching beyond its species to that of other living creatures on this shared fishbowl called Earth.
Leviak B. Kelly (Religion: The Ultimate STD: Living a Spiritual Life without Dogmatics or Cultural Destruction)
We finally made our way to the front of the line, where a young bouncer snapped an underage wristband on me and gave me an appraising look, eyes scanning my waist-length hair before raising the velvet rope. I rushed under it with Jay on my heels. “For real, Anna, don't let me stand in the way of all these dudes tonight.” Jay laughed behind me, raising his voice as we entered the already packed room, music thumping. I knew I should have put my hair up before we came, but Jay's sister, Jana had insisted on my keeping it down. I pulled my hair over my shoulder and wound it into a rope with my finger, looking around at the tightly packed crowd and wincing slightly at the noise and blasts of emotion. “They only think they like me because they don't know me,” I said. Jay shook his head. "I hate when you say things like that.” “Like what? That I'm especially special?” I was trying to make a joke, using the term us Southerners fondly called people who "weren't right" but anger burst gray from Jay's chest, surprising me, then fizzled away. “Don't talk about yourself that way. You're just...shy.” I was weird and we both knew it. But I didn't like to upset him, and it felt ridiculous having a serious conversation at the top of our lungs. Jay pulled his phone from his pocket and looked at the screen as it vibrated in his hand. He grinned and handed it to me. Patti. “Hello?” I stuck a finger in my other ear so I could hear. “I'm just checking to see if you made it safely, honey. Wow, it's really loud there!” “Yeah, it is!” I had to shout. “Everything is fine. I'll be home by eleven.” It as my first time going to something like this. Ever. Jay had begged Patti for permission himself, and by some miracle got her to agree. But she was not happy about it. All day she'd been as nervous as a cat the vet.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
AS LONG AS we follow a spiritual approach promising salvation, miracles, liberation, then we are bound by the “golden chain of spirituality.” Such a chain might be beautiful to wear, with its inlaid jewels and intricate carvings, but nevertheless, it imprisons us. People think they can wear the golden chain for decoration without being imprisoned by it, but they are deceiving themselves. As long as one’s approach to spirituality is based upon enriching ego, then it is spiritual materialism, a suicidal process rather than a creative one. All the promises we have heard are pure seduction. We expect the teachings to solve all our problems; we expect to be provided with magical means to deal with our depressions, our aggressions, our sexual hangups. But to our surprise we begin to realize that this is not going to happen. It is very disappointing to realize that we must work on ourselves and our suffering rather than depend upon a savior or the magical power of yogic techniques. It is disappointing to realize that we have to give up our expectations rather than build on the basis of our preconceptions. We must allow ourselves to be disappointed, which means the surrendering of me-ness, my achievement. We would like to watch ourselves attain enlightenment, watch our disciples celebrating, worshiping, throwing flowers at us, with miracles and earthquakes occurring and gods and angels singing and so forth. This never happens. The attainment of enlightenment from ego’s point of view is extreme death, the death of self, the death of me and mine, the death of the watcher. It is the ultimate and final disappointment. Treading the spiritual path is painful. It is a constant unmasking, peeling off of layer after layer of masks. It involves insult after insult.
Chögyam Trungpa (The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation (Shambhala Classics))
You know, my young friend, I will be ninety years old next year, and life is still a constant surprise to me. We never know what will happen next, what we will see, and what important person will come into our life, or what important person we will lose. Life is change, constant change, and unless we are lucky enough to find comedy in it, change is nearly always a drama, if not a tragedy. But after everything, and even when the skies turn scarlet and threatening, I still believe that if we are lucky enough to be alive, we must give thanks for the miracle of every moment of every day, no matter how flawed. And we must have faith in God, and in the Universe, and in a better tomorrow, even if that faith is not always deserved.
Mark T. Sullivan (Beneath a Scarlet Sky)
In sharing these very personal experiences, the writers herein hope to convey how much God cares for us and how active and close He is to us—fighting our battles and revealing the eternal consequences of our choices and behavior, even our thoughts and attitudes, here on earth. It is true that we normally live by faith and not by sight, but some of us at certain times are given supernatural sight, hearing, and even smell. The supernatural world constantly intersects our fallen world but manifests itself at key times: during intense spiritual warfare, at the time of death, when we’re in mortal danger or dire need, and when God wants to reveal His glory. So it isn’t surprising that these stories involve angels and demons, near-death experiences, exciting rescues, miraculous provision, and manifestations of God’s presence in worship.
James Stuart Bell (Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters: Real-Life Stories of Supernatural Events)
As Rockwell Kent said in his Alaskan journal, 'The wonder of wilderness was its tranquility.' I wish I had said that first. It grasps the salient point: not just tranquility, but wonder at tranquility. Wilderness is a surprise. We were raised on nature films that converted nature into thrilling entertainment; we still expect to find predators lurking everywhere in the wildness, and danger and excitement. But instead we find tranquility. And wonder at it. Interesting word, "wonder." From Old English wundrain: 'to be affected with astonishment.' Its antonyms name the most pervasive symptoms of modern life: indifference, boredom, ennui. The dictionary strains to explain wonder, mentioning awe, astonishment, marvel, miracle, wizardry, bewilderment (note the 'wild' in 'bewilderment'). Finally it offers this: 'Far superior to anything formerly recognized or foreseen.' Indeed.
Jack Turner (Travels in the Greater Yellowstone)
Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5) and “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). I shared the divine assurance in Isaiah 61:3: Bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Surprise Sithole (Voice in the Night: The True Story of a Man and the Miracles That Are Changing Africa)
we should all be amazed that we are Christians, that the great God is working in us. In “O Little Town of Bethlehem” we sing, “O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.” It’s a bold image, but quite right. Every Christian is like Mary. Everyone who puts faith in Christ receives, by the Holy Spirit, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27, emphasis mine). We should be just as shocked that God would give us—with all our smallness and flaws—such a mighty gift. And so no Christian should ever be far from this astonishment that “I, I of all people, should be loved and embraced by his grace!” I would go so far as to say that this perennial note of surprise is a mark of anyone who understands the essence of the Gospel. What is Christianity? If you think Christianity is mainly going to church, believing a certain creed, and living a certain kind of life, then there will be no note of wonder and surprise about the fact that you are a believer. If someone asks you, “Are you a Christian?” you will say, “Of course I am! It’s hard work but I’m doing it. Why do you ask?” Christianity is, in this view, something done by you—and so there’s no astonishment about being a Christian. However, if Christianity is something done for you, and to you, and in you, then there is a constant note of surprise and wonder. John Newton wrote the hymn: Let us love and sing and wonder, Let us praise the Savior’s name. He has hushed the law’s loud thunder, He has quenched Mount Sinai’s flame. He has washed us with his blood He has brought us nigh to God.1 See where the love and wonder comes from—because he has done all this and brought us to himself. He has done it. So if someone asks you if you are a Christian, you should not say, “Of course!” There should be no “of course-ness” about it. It would be more appropriate to say, “Yes, I am, and that’s a miracle. Me! A Christian! Who would have ever thought it? Yet he did it, and I’m his.” SHE
Timothy J. Keller (Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ)
Take five minutes every day and just sit in silence. In that time, put these questions to your attention and heart: “Who am I? What do I want for my life? What do I want from my life today?” Then let go, and let your stream of consciousness, your quieter inner voice, supply the answers. Then, after five minutes, write them down. Do this every day and you’ll be surprised at how situations, circumstances, events, and people will orchestrate themselves around the answers. This is the beginning of synchrodestiny.
Deepak Chopra (Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles)
You Have Happened To Me Like the first blossom of the spring and the first drizzle of the rain, You have happened to me. With that sudden smile, very close to mine, You have happened to me. When I was at lowest aura, with tears on edge of my eyes, You have happened to me. When I have least expected, in that depth of our talks, out of my knowledge, You have happened to me. Somewhere in those loud laughs and gathering some smoky puffs, You have happened to me. Without the fear of world, got tied up with just one knurled, You have happened to me. In the most beautiful way I could ever imagine, while getting my self lagin, You have happened to me. I don’t know if that’s a blessing or a miracle then, How you have happened to me? I am still surprised with those shiny sparks in my eyes, You have happened to me. Talking about having the happy time, you became the reason of my smile, You have happened to me. In those long waits and running behind your fast steps, You have happened to me. Around your long advices, rolling my eyes while trying to believe in them, You have happened to me. The warmth of tea I have sipped next to you, melted my heart for you and You have happened to me. Over those answers of my every question, and the way my heart felt so freshen, You have happened to me, Somehow surrounded by our rational deliberation, and continuous feel of desperation, You have happened to me. Looking at you a many times a day and look! How it is changing the way in slow motion, You have happened to me.
Trushti Raval
...perhaps you can see a little more clearly the ways in which you've left the center of yourself in order to get to love. Even more importantly, you might see how you didn't do whatever you did to get love because you are weak, or broken, or wrong. You sought love simply and only for the same reason I did, and still do: because this is how we are wired. As A Course in Miracles states, all human behavior is either love or a call for love...Once I started to look at it this way, it softened my shame about my patterns...It allowed me to see myself as someone who was hurting, instead of someone who was weak. What I am coming to see, very slowly and over time, is that nothing that requires or causes me to abandon myself is really love. Love is a mirror that reflects you back to yourself, not a portal through which you jump into oblivion. It doesn't ask you to be different. IT doesn't secretly wish you were. Yes, a relationship is always going to be compromise, but when you start compromising yourself, it becomes something else. A hostage situation, maybe. An arrangement, A use. An abuse. I have been on both sides of all these scenarios.
Laura McKowen (We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life)
The suspicion that a calamity might also be a punishment is further useful in that it allows an infinity of speculation. After New Orleans, which suffered from a lethal combination of being built below sea level and neglected by the Bush administration, I learned from a senior rabbi in Israel that it was revenge for the evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, and from the mayor of New Orleans (who had not performed his own job with exceptional prowess) that it was god’s verdict on the invasion of Iraq. You can nominate your own favorite sin here, as did the “reverends” Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell after the immolation of the World Trade Center. In that instance, the proximate cause was to be sought and found in America’s surrender to homosexuality and abortion. (Some ancient Egyptians believed that sodomy was the cause of earthquakes: I expect this interpretation to revive with especial force when the San Andreas Fault next gives a shudder under the Gomorrah of San Francisco.) When the debris had eventually settled on Ground Zero, it was found that two pieces of mangled girder still stood in the shape of a cross, and much wondering comment resulted. Since all architecture has always involved crossbeams, it would be surprising only if such a feature did not emerge. I admit that I would have been impressed if the wreckage had formed itself into a Star of David or a star and crescent, but there is no record of this ever having occurred anywhere, even in places where local people might be impressed by it. And remember, miracles are supposed to occur at the behest of a being who is omnipotent as well as omniscient and omnipresent. One might hope for more magnificent performances than ever seem to occur.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
Ella?” Cinder asked when things got quiet. “Are you there?” He sounded hesitant. “Welcome to my life,” I said with a sigh of defeat. “Sorry about that.” “It’s okay.” It was definitely not okay. I was so humiliated. It was a miracle I wasn’t crying. I think that was only because I was still in so much shock. “Look, thanks for giving me your phone number, but maybe this is a bad time.” My dad scrambled to his feet, waving his hands at me. “No! You don’t have to end your call. We’ll give you some privacy.” He glanced at both Jennifer and Juliette. “Won’t we, ladies?” His blatant desperation for me to talk to someone—even a stranger from the Internet—was as embarrassing as Anastasia’s outburst. Even worse, Jennifer was just as bad. “Of course! You go ahead and talk to your boyfriend, Ella,” she squealed. “We can keep an eye on you from the kitchen. I have to get dinner started anyway.” While I was busy dying from her use of the word boyfriend, she hopped off the elliptical. She hurried to catch up to my dad, seeming more than happy to finish her workout early. As they started up the steps, they both turned back to Juliette, who had sprawled out on the couch instead of getting up. “I was here first,” Juliette said in response to their expectant looks. “There’s no way I’m going anywhere near the upstairs with Ana in the mood she’s in, and I really don’t care about Ella’s love life. Besides, she’s not supposed to be alone, anyway. What if she tries to throw herself off the balcony or something?” Was there anyone in the world that didn’t feel the need to humiliate me? I glared at Juliette, and she just waved a pair of earbuds at me and shoved them in her ears. “I’ll turn the volume up.” My dad and Jennifer both gave me such hopeful looks that I couldn’t argue anymore. I rolled my eyes and made my way over to the armchair my father had been lounging in. Once Dad and Jennifer were gone, I glanced over at the couch. Juliette was already doing what she did best—ignoring me. She was bobbing her head along with her music as she read out of a textbook. I doubted she could hear me, but I spoke softly anyway, just in case. “Cinder? Are you still there?” “I didn’t realize upping our relationship to phone buddies would come with a boyfriend title. Does that mean if we ever meet in person, we’ll have to get married?” Surprised, I burst into laughter. Juliette glanced at me with one raised eyebrow, but went back to her textbook without saying anything.
Kelly Oram (Cinder & Ella (Cinder & Ella #1))
Gregori was as still as a statue, his face a blank mask, his silver eyes as empty as death, yet Shea gave him a wide berth. There was something dangerous in his utter stillness. Shea felt she had no way to sorting out the complexity of the Carpathian male’s nature. Gregori was watching Raven through narrowed, restless eyes, eyes that saw far too much. Suddenly he cursed, low and vicious, startling from someone of his stature and power. “She should not put herself at risk. She is with child.” His eyes met Jacques’, silver lightning and black ice. Total understanding between the two men. Shea merged her mind with Jacues’ quickly to try to understand the hidden currents. Raven’s pregnancy, if she was pregnant, changed everything as far as the men were concerned. Shea could see no evidence of a child—Raven appeared as slim as ever—but she couldn’t believe the healer would be wrong. He seemed so infallible, so completely invincible. The child was everything, all-important to the men. It surprised, even shocked her, the way they regarded the pregnancy. It was a miracle to both of them. The baby was more important than their lives. Shea was confused. Despite Jacques’ fractured memories, his protective streak was extremely strong. “He’s aware of his surroundings, but he can’t move. Even his mind is locked and still. He is paralyzed somehow.” Raven’s voice startled Shea, brought her back to the stormy weather and their rescue mission. Raven was clearly speaking of Byron. “He can’t move or call out, not ever mentally. It is dark and damp, and he knows he will suffer greatly before they are done with him.” Raven swayed, her hands protectively covering her stomach. The healer moved, a blur of speed, catching her arm and wrenching her out into the driving rain. Gregori snagged Mikhail’s shirt, too, and yanked him into the fury of the storm. “Break off now, Raven,” Gregori commanded. He shook her, shook Mikhail. “Let go of him now!
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
She sorted through the clothes. “Do you mind wearing Emilio’s underwear?” She turned back to him with the two different styles that she’d found. “You’re about the same size. And they’re clean. They were wrapped in a paper package, like from a laundry service.” Max gave her a look, because along with the very nice, very expensive pair of black silk boxers she’d pilfered from Emilio, she’d also borrowed one of his thongs. “What?” Gina said. It was definitely a man-thong. It had all that extra room for various non-female body parts. “Don’t be ridiculous.” “I’m not,” she said, trying to play it as serious. “One, it’s been a while, maybe your tastes have changed. And two, these might actually be more comfortable, considering the placement of your bandage and—” He took the boxers from her. “Apparently I was wrong.” She turned away and started sorting through the pairs of pants and Bermuda shorts she’d grabbed, trying not to be too obvious about the fact that she was watching him out of the corner of her eye. To make sure he didn’t fall over. Right. After he got the boxers on, he took off the bathrobe and . . . Okay, he definitely wasn’t as skinny as he’d been after his lengthy stint in the hospital. Emilio’s pants probably weren’t going to fit him, after all. Although, there was one pair that looked like they’d be nice and loose . . . There they were. The Kelly green Bermuda shorts. Max gave her another one of those you’ve-got-to-be-kidding glances as he put the bathrobe over the back of another chair. “Do I really look as if I’ve ever worn shorts that color in my entire life?” She tried not to smile. “I honestly don’t think you have much choice.” She let herself look at him. “You know, you could just go with the boxers. At least until your pants dry. You know what would really work with that, though? A bowtie.” She turned, as if to go back to the closet. “I’m sure Emilio has a tux. Judging from his other clothes, it’s probably polyester and chartreuse, but maybe the bowtie is—” “Gina.” Max stopped her before she reached the door. He motioned for her to come back. She held out the green shorts, but instead of taking them, he took her arm, pulled her close. “I love you,” Max said, as if he were dispatching some terrible, dire news that somehow still managed to amuse him at least a little. Gina had been hoping that he’d say it, praying even, but the fact that he’d managed to smile, even just a bit while he did, was a miracle. And then, before her heart even had a chance to start beating again, he kissed her. And oh, she was also beyond ready for that particular marvel, for the sweet softness of his mouth, for the solidness of his arms around her. There was more of him to hold her since he’d regained his fighting weight—and that was amazing, too. She skimmed her hands across the muscular smoothness of his back, his shoulders, as his kiss changed from tender to heated. And, God. That was a miracle, too. Except she couldn’t help but wonder about those words, wrenched from him, as if it cost him his soul to speak them aloud. Why tell her this right now? Yes, she’d been waiting for years for him to say that he loved her, but . . . Max laughed his surprise. “No. Why do you . . .?” He figured it out himself. “No, no, Gina, just . . . I should’ve said it before. I should have said it years ago, but I really should have said it, you know, instead of hi.” He laughed again, clearly disgusted with himself. “God, I’m an idiot. I mean, hi? I should have walked in and said, ‘Gina, I need you. I love you, don’t ever leave me again.’” She stared at him. It was probably a good thing that he hadn’t said that at the time, because she might’ve fainted. It was obvious that he wanted her to say something, but she was completely speechless.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
Mathematically speaking, the probable (that in 6,000,000,000 throws with a regular six-sided die the die will come up proximately 1 ,000,000,000 times) and the improbable (that in six throws with the same die the one will come approximately up six times) are not different in kind, but only in frequency, whereby the more frequent appears a priori more probable. But the occasional occurrence of the improbable does not imply the intervention of a higher power, something in the nature of a miracle, as the layman is so ready to assume. The term "probability" includes improbability at the extreme limits of probability, and when the improbable does occur this is no cause for surprise, bewilderment or mystification. Cf. Ernst Mally's Probability and Law, Hans Reichenbach The theory Probability, Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica, von Mises' Probability, Statistics and Truth
Max Frisch (Homo Faber)
T-4.II.4. Think of the love of animals for their offspring, and the need they feel to protect them. That is because they regard them as part of themselves. No one dismisses something he considers part of himself. You react to your ego much as God does to His creations,–with love, protection and charity. Your reactions to the self you made are not surprising. In fact, they resemble in many ways how you will one day react to your real creations, which are as timeless as you are. The question is not how you respond to the ego, but what you believe you are. Belief is an ego function, and as long as your origin is open to belief you are regarding it from an ego viewpoint. When teaching is no longer necessary you will merely know God. Belief that there is another way of perceiving is the loftiest idea of which ego thinking is capable. That is because it contains a hint of recognition that the ego is not the Self.
Foundation for Inner Peace (A course in miracles: Text, Vol. 1)
It took Mr. N. four months to make the plunge. The marriageable widow he chose was more than willing, and she subsequently became Mrs. N. Before this happy time came, Mr. N. had to go through a few more difficulties. He developed a case of prematurity; he had never experienced this in homosexual affairs. This is the "trouble" that confronts many ( not all ) ex-homosexuals in their affairs with women in the end phases of treatment. The majority of the candidates for recovery overcome it. A small minority do not; these patients remain bogged down at that point. Fortunately for N., he was able to overcome this hurdle, too. He was cured, and frankly the analyst was no less surprised at the outcome than the patient. "Miracles do happen," was the patient's conclusion. "Never predict the unfavorable" was the analyst's more conservative resolve, remembering his own unfavorable impressions of N. at the beginning of treatment.
Edmund Bergler (Homosexuality: Disease or Way of Life)
The day wore on.While yet Rycca slept, Dragon did all the things she had said he would do-paced back and forth, contemplated mayhem,and even honed his blade on the whetstone from the stable.All except being oblivious to her,for that he could never manage. But when she awoke,sitting up heavy-lidded, her mouth so full and soft it was all he could do not to crawl back into bed with her,he put aside such pursuits and controlled himself admirably well,so he thought. Yet in the midst of preparing a meal for them from the provisions in the pantry of the lodge,he was stopped by Rycca's hand settling upon his. "Dragon," she said softly, "if you add any more salt to that stew, we will need a barrel of water and more to drink with it." He looked down, saw that she was right, and cursed under his breath. Dumping out the spoiled stew, he started over. They ate late but they did eat.He was quite determined she would do so,and for once she seemed to have a decent appetite. "I'm glad to see your stomach is better," he said as she was finishing. She looked up,startled. "What makes you say that?" "You haven't seemed able to eat regularly of late." "Oh,well,you know...so many changes...travel...all that." He nodded,reached for his goblet, and damn near knocked it over as a sudden thought roared through him. "Rycca?" She rose quickly,gathering up the dishes. His hand lashed out, closing on her wrist. Gently but inexorably, he returned her to her seat. Without taking his eyes from her,he asked, "Is there something you should tell me?" "Something...?" "I ask myself what sort of changes may cause a woman to be afflicted with an uneasy stomach and it occurs to me I've been a damned idiot." "Not so! You could never be that." "Oh,really? How otherwise would I fail to notice that your courses have not come of late? Or is that also due to travel,wife?" "Some women are not all that regular." "Some women do not concern me.You do,Rycca. I swear,if you are with child and have not told me, I will-" She squared her shoulders,lifted her head,and met his eyes hard on. "Will what?" "What? Will what? Does that mean-" "I'm sorry,Dragon." Truly repentant, Rycca sighed deeply. "I was going to tell you.I was just waiting for a calmer time.I didn't want you to worry more." Still grappling with what she had just revealed,he stared at her in astonishment. "You mean worry that my wife and our child are bait for a murderous traitor?" "I know you're angry and you have a right to be.But if I had told you, we wouldn't be here now." "Damn right we wouldn't be!" He got up from the table so abruptly that his chair toppled over and crashed to the floor.Ignoring it,Dragon paced back and forth,glaring at her. Rycca waited,trusting the storm to pass. As she did,she counted silently, curious to see just how long it would take her husband to grasp fully what he had discovered. Nine...ten... "We're going to have a baby." Not long at all. She nodded happily. "Yes,we are, and you're going to be a wonderful father." He walked back to the table,picked her up out of her chair,held her high against his chest,and stared at her. "My God-" Rycca laughed. "You can't possibly be surprised.It's not as though we haven't been doing our best to make this happen." "True,but still it's absolutely incredible." Very gently,she touched his face. "Perhaps we think of miracles wrongly. They're supposed to be extraordinarily rare but in fact they're as commonplace as a bouquet of wildflowers plucked by a warrior...or a woman having a baby." Dragon sat down with her still in his arms and held her very close.He swallowed several times and said nothing. Both could have remained contentedly like that for a long while, but only a few minutes passed before they were interrupted. The raven lit on the sill of the open window just long enough to catch their attention,then she was gone into the bloodred glare of the dying day.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
I don’t deny that it was more than a coincidence which made things turn out as they did, it was a whole train of coincidences. But what has providence to do with it? I don’t need any mystical explanation for the occurrence of the improbable; mathematics explains it adequately, as far as I’m concerned. Mathematically speaking, the probable (that in 6,000,000,000 throws with a regular six-sided die the one will come up approximately 1,000,000,000 times) and the improbable (that in six throws with the same die the one will come up six times) are not different in kind, but only in frequency, whereby the more frequent appears a priori more probable. But the occasional occurrence of the improbable does not imply the intervention of a higher power, something in the nature of a miracle, as the layman is so ready to assume. The term probability includes improbability at the extreme limits of probability, and when the improbable does occur this is no cause for surprise, bewilderment or mystification.
Max Frisch (Homo Faber)
It all comes down to Jesus Christ, and what you CHOOSE to believe about Him. Jesus claims He is the Son of God. Jesus claims He died for you and rose from the dead. He claims that the only way to cancel out your sin and spend eternity in heaven is to be believe that He is who He said He was. These are the claims on the table. Bold claims. its will make you wince, won't it? Personally, I think the boldness of the claims makes the choosing a lot easier. Most people who have never actually read the menu probably assume they can order a la carte at the Jesus table or customize their own recipe of faith. But you can't say yes to the historical figure and a few parables but pass on miracles, the resurrection, and the Son-of-God thing. That is not the offering. Christ is a fixed meal. It is all or nothing with His claims. Everyone is invited, but only you can decide if you actually want to eat at His table. For those who do believe in Christ, it means getting real, being hones about your sin, and living your life as if you really mean it.
Carolyn Weber (Surprised by Oxford)
The maxim, by which we commonly conduct ourselves in our reasonings, is, that the objects, of which we have no experience, resemble those, of which we have; that what we have found to be most usual is always most probable; and that where there is an opposition of arguments, we ought to give the preference to such as are founded on the greatest number of past observations. But though, in proceeding by this rule, we readily reject any fact which is unusual and incredible in an ordinary degree; yet in advancing farther, the mind observes not always the same rule; but when anything is affirmed utterly absurd and miraculous, it rather the more readily admits of such a fact, upon account of that very circumstance, which ought to destroy all its authority. The passion of surprise and wonder, arising from miracles, being an agreeable emotion, gives a sensible tendency towards the belief of those events, from which it is derived. And this goes so far, that even those who cannot enjoy this pleasure immediately, nor can believe those miraculous events, of which they are informed, yet love to partake of the satisfaction at secondhand or by rebound, and place a pride and delight in exciting the admiration of others. 17 With what greediness are the miraculous accounts of travelers received, their descriptions of sea and land monsters, their relations of wonderful adventures, strange men, and uncouth manners? But if the spirit of religion join itself to the love of wonder, there is an end of common sense; and human testimony, in these circumstances, loses all pretensions to authority. A religionist may be an enthusiast, and imagine he sees what has no reality: He may know his narrative to be false, and yet persevere in it, with the best intentions in the world, for the sake of promoting so holy a cause: Or even where this delusion has not place, vanity, excited by so strong a temptation, operates on him more powerfully than on the rest of mankind in any other circumstances; and self-interest with equal force. His auditors may not have, and commonly have not, sufficient judgment to canvass his evidence: What judgment they have, they renounce by principle, in these sublime and mysterious subjects: Or if they were ever so willing to employ it, passion and a heated imagination disturb the regularity of its operations. Their credulity increases his impudence: And his impudence overpowers their credulity.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
When a general examination of the rhyme scheme in the Qur'an is made, we see that around 80% of the rhymes consist of just three sounds (n, m, a) consisting of the letters Alif, Mim, Ya and Nun258. Excluding the letter "Nun," 30% of the verses are rhymed with "Mim," "Alif" or "Ya." The formation of rhymed prose with just two or three sounds in a poem of 200-300 lines may give that work an important quality, sufficient for it to be described as a masterpiece by literary critics today. However, bearing in mind the length of the Qur'an, the information it contains and its wise exposition, the extraordinary manner in which its rhymed prose system is used becomes even clearer and more beautiful. The Qur'an indeed contains an ocean of information relating to a wide variety of subjects. They include: religious and moral guidance, lessons from the lives of the peoples of the past, the message of the prophets and messengers of Allah, the physical sciences and historical accounts of important events. But all of this, although wonderful in itself, is delivered with the most fantastic literary rhythm and excellence. It is simply not possible for so much rhymed prose by use of so few sounds in the Qur'an, with its varied and knowledgeable subject matter, to be achieved by human endeavour. From that point of view, it is not surprising that Arab linguists describe the Qur'an as "very definitely inimitable.
Harun Yahya (Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an)
role in this incredible event. In August 2010, news reports around the world began to tell the story of the plight of 33 miners trapped 2,300 feet below the earth in a Chilean mine. As the daily reports continued, the entire world watched what seemed to be a completely hopeless situation. Every effort to make contact with the men failed. The miners were running out of supplies and going to die. Incredibly — and to the surprise of the entire world — contact was made with the miners after 17 days! Engineers had been able to drill a small shaft down to precisely where the miners were imprisoned. Through this small shaft, food, water, and other supplies could be sent down to the trapped men. The ordeal was far from over, though. In order to save them, a much larger shaft had to be drilled, one that would allow them to be brought to the surface one by one. It would take a miracle for this to happen. From St. Peter’s in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI asked the entire world to pray for the miners. As a special sign of hope, the Pope personally blessed 33 rosaries and sent them to the miners so that they could pray the rosary and know that Jesus and Mary were with them. The blessed rosaries were sent down the small shaft to the men, and they began to pray them and wear them around their necks. Miraculously, after having been trapped for 69 days, all 33 men survived and were rescued from the mine. One by one, they emerged from the depths of the earth and saw sunshine again. What was the date of their rescue? It was October 13, the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima!
Donald H. Calloway (10 Wonders of the Rosary)
#14: SNAP OUT OF IT! One of the primary reasons for our unhappiness and discomfort is our attack thoughts. All day long, without even realizing it, we’re attacking ourselves and others. Attacks don’t have to be massive to inflict real damage—each small attack, from a negative thought about ourselves to a cold comment toward another person, adds up. Attack breeds attack. Attacking others in our mind or in our actions directly harms us. Our attack thoughts and actions are particularly dangerous because they can be so subtle and insidious that we might not realize how much they’ve taken over our minds. But as fiendish as they are, they’re surprisingly easy to let go of. All it takes is an ordinary rubber band. One day—today—wear a rubber band on your wrist. Whenever you notice an attack thought arise, flick your rubber band against your arm. Does this seem jarring? Good! It’s exactly what you need to literally snap yourself out of your unconscious attack thoughts. Once you’ve snapped out of the attack cycle, it’s time to clean up your thoughts. Use this exercise based on lesson 23 of A Course in Miracles: “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.” The moment you snap the rubber band, witness your attack thought and say to yourself: I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts about________. You can fill in the blank with whatever you’re attacking, whether it’s broad or very specific. Practice this exercise throughout the day. Notice your attack thought, snap out of it with your rubber band, and then use the Course message as a reminder that you can think your way out in an instant. Miracle
Gabrielle Bernstein (Miracles Now: 108 Life-Changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose)
On the Craft of Writing:  The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know by Shawn Coyne The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White 2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron  On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King Take Off Your Pants! Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing by Libbie Hawker  You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins Prosperity for Writers: A Writer's Guide to Creating Abundance by Honorée Corder  The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield Business for Authors: How To Be An Author Entrepreneur by Joanna Penn  On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark On Mindset:  The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn Vision to Reality: How Short Term Massive Action Equals Long Term Maximum Results by Honorée Corder The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg Mckeown Mastery by Robert Greene The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy Taking Life Head On: How to Love the Life You Have While You Create the Life of Your Dreams by Hal Elrod Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill In
Hal Elrod (The Miracle Morning for Writers: How to Build a Writing Ritual That Increases Your Impact and Your Income, Before 8AM)
The waltz was dwindling away, and with a supreme effort he let her go. They talked through the crowd together, smiling politely at people who intercepted them without the slightest idea of anything that was said. When they neared the Townsendes’ group Ian delayed her with a touch of his hand. “There’s something I’ve wanted to tell you,” he said. Scrupulously keeping up appearances, he reached out to take a drink from a tray being passed by a servant, using that to cover their having stopped. “I would have told you before, but until now you would have questioned my motives and not believed me.” Elizabeth nodded graciously to a woman who greeted her, then she slowly reached for the glass, listening to him as he quietly said, “I never told your brother I didn’t want to wed you.” Her hand stayed, then she took the glass from him and walked beside him as they made their slowest possible way back to their friends. “Thank you,” she said softly, pausing to sip from her glass in another delaying tactic. “There’s one more thing,” he added irritably. “What’s that?” she asked. “I hate this damn ball. I’d give half what I own to be anywhere else with you.” To his surprise, his thrifty fiancé nodded complete agreement. “So would I.” “Half?” he chided, grinning at her in complete defiance of the rules of propriety. “Really?” “Well-at least a forth,” she amended helplessly, giving him her hand for the obligatory kiss as she reached for her skirts, preparing to curtsy. “Don’t you dare curtsy to me,” he warned in a laughing underbreath, kissing her gloved fingers. “Everywhere I go women are falling to the floor like collapsing rigging on a ship.” Elizabeth’s shoulders shook with mirth as she disobediently sank into a deep throne-room curtsy that was a miracle of grace and exaggeration. Above her she heard his throaty chuckle. In an utter turnabout of his earlier feelings, Ian suddenly decided this ball was immensely enjoyable.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Dr. Lydia Ciarallo in the Department of Pediatrics, Brown University School of Medicine, treated thirty-one asthma patients ages six to eighteen who were deteriorating on conventional treatments. One group was given magnesium sulfate and another group was given saline solution, both intravenously. At fifty minutes the magnesium group had a significantly greater percentage of improvement in lung function, and more magnesium patients than placebo patients were discharged from the emergency department and did not need hospitalization.4 Another study showed a correlation between intracellular magnesium levels and airway spasm. The investigators found that patients who had low cellular magnesium levels had increased bronchial spasm. This finding confirmed not only that magnesium was useful in the treatment of asthma by dilating the bronchial tubes but that lack of magnesium was probably a cause of this condition.5 A team of researchers identified magnesium deficiency as surprisingly common, finding it in 65 percent of an intensive-care population of asthmatics and in 11 percent of an outpatient asthma population. They supported the use of magnesium to help prevent asthma attacks. Magnesium has several antiasthmatic actions. As a calcium antagonist, it relaxes airways and smooth muscles and dilates the lungs. It also reduces airway inflammation, inhibits chemicals that cause spasm, and increases anti-inflammatory substances such as nitric oxide.6 The same study established that a lower dietary magnesium intake was associated with impaired lung function, bronchial hyperreactivity, and an increased risk of wheezing. The study included 2,633 randomly selected adults ages eighteen to seventy. Dietary magnesium intake was calculated by a food frequency questionnaire, and lung function and allergic tendency were evaluated. The investigators concluded that low magnesium intake may be involved in the development of both asthma and chronic obstructive airway disease.
Carolyn Dean (The Magnesium Miracle)
The usual notion of prayer is so absurd. How can those who know nothing about it, who pray little or not at all, dare speak so frivolously of prayer? A Carthusian, a Trappist will work for years to make of himself a man of prayer, and then any fool who comes along sets himself up as judge of this lifelong effort. If it were really what they suppose, a kind of chatter, the dialogue of a madman with his shadow, or even less—a vain and superstitious sort of petition to be given the good things of this world, how could innumerable people find until their dying day, I won't even say such great 'comfort'—since they put no faith in the solace of the senses—but sheer, robust, vigorous, abundant joy in prayer? Oh, of course—suggestion, say the scientists. Certainly they can never have known old monks, wise, shrewd, unerring in judgement, and yet aglow with passionate insight, so very tender in their humanity. What miracle enables these semi-lunatics, these prisoners of their own dreams, these sleepwalkers, apparently to enter more deeply each day into the pain of others? An odd sort of dream, an unusual opiate which, far from turning him back into himself and isolating him from his fellows, unites the individual with mankind in the spirit of universal charity! This seems a very daring comparison. I apologise for having advanced it, yet perhaps it might satisfy many people who find it hard to think for themselves, unless the thought has first been jolted by some unexpected, surprising image. Could a sane man set himself up as a judge of music because he has sometimes touched a keyboard with the tips of his fingers? And surely if a Bach fugue, a Beethoven symphony leave him cold, if he has to content himself with watching on the face of another listener the reflected pleasure of supreme, inaccessible delight, such a man has only himself to blame. But alas! We take the psychiatrists' word for it. The unanimous testimony of saints is held as of little or no account. They may all affirm that this kind of deepening of the spirit is unlike any other experience, that instead of showing us more and more of our own complexity it ends in sudden total illumination, opening out upon azure light—they can be dismissed with a few shrugs. Yet when has any man of prayer told us that prayer had failed him?
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
Closing her eyes, she fit the violin under her chin, and set the bow to the strings. Faith had never been as blind as this. The first thing that came to mind was the sound of her fingers breaking. Her life, as she knew it, dying. The shock and the pain of it, and the utter devastation. They’ve killed me, she thought. So she played it. Next came the memory of warm, strong hands reaching for hers in the darkness. The unknown clasping her fingers, healing her, lending her strength and reassurance. It was the only thing in the world when she had nothing. It had been her lifeline. And she played it. Then came trust, the tentative unfurling, when she believed against all evidence that the person who came to her in the darkness would help her in any way he could. The impossibly intense adventure of his arm, sliding around her shoulders. The miracle of warmth when she had known nothing but coldness. That first kiss, oh, the surprise of it! The agonizing uncertainty… was it all right to allow this? How could it feel so incredibly good? Could she possibly kiss him again? Oh, when could she kiss him again? The burning that took hold, the incandescent light that shone despite all the shadows stacked around them. The unbearable, delicious hunger that was the sweetest pain… that she would give anything, anything, if only she could feel it again… Always before, when she had played, she’d had the awareness of the violin and the bow as instruments in her craft. Her music had been self-conscious, aware. Now, as she played, she went somewhere she had never gone before. She lost awareness of the violin altogether. She became the music. She was the story, the vibration. She became the story of love, the notes written in kisses and caresses on her skin. She felt the symphony, the swelling highs in the lifts, and the terrible lows in the falls, and hope was the cruelest note of all, the devastation that came afterward, utterly intolerable. She poured it all out, all the emotion, the experience, the exquisite delight along with the terror. There was no hiding any of it from a god anyway. The only other being she had been so naked with was Morgan, and he was gone. Gone, while the love she felt for him had become the very breath of life to her. Give him back to me, she begged with her music. Give him back. When the last note speared through the air, she had nothing left to give.
Thea Harrison (Spellbinder (Moonshadow, #2))
When the commander of one of the brigades Gilbert had sent to reinforce McCook approached an imposing-looking officer to ask for instructions as to the posting of his troops—“I have come to your assistance with my brigade!” the Federal shouted above the uproar—the gentleman calmly sitting his horse in the midst of carnage turned out to be Polk, who was wearing a dark-gray uniform. Polk asked the designation of the newly arrived command, and upon being told raised his eyebrows in surprise. For all his churchly faith in miracles, he could scarcely believe his ears. “There must be some mistake about this,” he said. “You are my prisoner.” Fighting without its commander, the brigade gave an excellent account of itself. Joined presently by the other brigade sent over from the center, it did much to stiffen the resistance being offered by the remnants of McCook’s two divisions. Sundown came before the rebels could complete the rout begun four hours ago, and now in the dusk it was Polk’s turn to play a befuddled role in another comic incident of confused identity. He saw in the fading light a body of men whom he took to be Confederates firing obliquely into the flank of one of his engaged brigades. “Dear me,” he said to himself. “This is very sad and must be stopped.” None of his staff being with him at the time, he rode over to attend to the matter in person. When he came up to the erring commander and demanded in angry tones what he meant by shooting his own friends, the colonel replied with surprise: “I don’t think there can be any mistake about it. I am sure they are the enemy.” “Enemy!” Polk exclaimed, taken aback by this apparent insubordination. “Why, I have only just left them myself. Cease firing, sir! What is your name, sir?” “Colonel Shryock, of the 87th Indiana,” the Federal said. “And pray, sir, who are you?” The bishop-general, learning thus for the first time that the man was a Yankee and that he was in rear of a whole regiment of Yankees, determined to brazen out the situation by taking further advantage of the fact that his dark-gray blouse looked blue-black in the twilight. He rode closer and shook his fist in the colonel’s face, shouting angrily: “I’ll soon show you who I am, sir! Cease firing, sir, at once!” Then he turned his horse and, calling in an authoritative manner for the bluecoats to cease firing, slowly rode back toward his own lines. He was afraid to ride fast, he later explained, because haste might give his identity away; yet “at the same time I experienced a disagreeable sensation, like screwing up my back, and calculated how many bullets would be between my shoulders every moment.
Shelby Foote (The Civil War, Vol. 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville)
SECTION XI.--The Strength of Simplicity. The soul in the state of abandonment knows how to see God even in the proud who oppose His action. All creatures, good or evil, reveal Him to it. __________________________________________________________________ The whole practice of the simple soul is in the accomplishment of the will of God. This it respects even in those unruly actions by which the proud attempt to depreciate it. The proud soul despises one in whose sight it is as nothing, who beholds only God in it, and in all its actions. Often it imagines that the modesty of the simple soul is a mark of appreciation for itself; when, all the time, it is only a sign of that loving fear of God and of His holy will as shown to it in the person of the proud. No, poor fool, the simple soul fears you not at all. You excite its compassion; it is answering God when you think it is speaking to you: it is with Him that it believes it has to do; it regards you only as one of His slaves, or rather as a mask with which He disguises Himself. Therefore the more you take a high tone, the lower you become in its estimation; and when you think to take it by surprise, it surprises you. Your wiles and violence are just favours from Heaven. The proud soul cannot comprehend itself, but the simple soul, with the light of faith, can very clearly see through it. The finding of the divine action in all that occurs at each moment, in and around us, is true science, a continuous revelation of truth, and an unceasingly renewed intercourse with God. It is a rejoicing with the Spouse, not in secret, nor by stealth, in the cellar, or the vineyard, but openly, and in public, without any human respect. It is a fund of peace, of joy, of love, and of satisfaction with God who is seen, known, or rather, believed in, living and operating in the most perfect manner in everything that happens. It is the beginning of eternal happiness not yet perfectly realised and tasted, except in an incomplete and hidden manner. The Holy Spirit, who arranges all the pieces on the board of life, will, by this fruitful and continual presence of His action, say at the hour of death, "fiat lux," "let there be light" (Gen. i, 14), and then will be seen the treasures which faith hides in this abyss of peace and contentment with God, and which will be found in those things that have been every moment done, or suffered for Him. When God gives Himself thus, all that is common becomes wonderful; and it is on this account that nothing seems to be so, because this way is, in itself, extraordinary. Consequently it is unnecessary to make it full of strange and unsuitable marvels. It is, in itself, a miracle, a revelation, a constant joy even with the prevalence of minor faults. But it is a miracle which, while rendering all common and sensible things wonderful, has nothing in itself that is sensibly marvellous.
Jean-Pierre de Caussade (Abandonment to Divine Providence)
suppose, that all the historians who treat of England, should agree, that, on the first of January 1600, Queen Elizabeth died; that both before and after her death she was seen by her physicians and the whole court, as is usual with persons of her rank; that her successor was acknowledged and proclaimed by the parliament; and that, after being interred a month, she again appeared, resumed the throne, and governed England for three years: I must confess that I should be surprised at the concurrence of so many odd circumstances, but should not have the least inclination to believe so miraculous an event. I should not doubt of her pretended death, and of those other public circumstances that followed it: I should only assert it to have been pretended, and that it neither was, nor possibly could be real. You would in vain object to me the difficulty, and almost impossibility of deceiving the world in an affair of such consequence; the wisdom and solid judgment of that renowned queen; with the little or no advantage which she could reap from so poor an artifice: All this might astonish me; but I would still reply, that the knavery and folly of men are such common phenomena, that I should rather believe the most extraordinary events to arise from their concurrence, than admit of so signal a violation of the laws of nature. 38 But should this miracle be ascribed to any new system of religion; men, in all ages, have been so much imposed on by ridiculous stories of that kind, that this very circumstance would be a full proof of a cheat, and sufficient, with all men of sense, not only to make them reject the fact, but even reject it without farther examination. Though the Being to whom the miracle is ascribed, be, in this case, Almighty, it does not, upon that account, become a whit more probable; since it is impossible for us to know the attributes or actions of such a Being, otherwise than from the experience which we have of his productions, in the usual course of nature. This still reduces us to past observation, and obliges us to compare the instances of the violation of truth in the testimony of men, with those of the violation of the laws of nature by miracles, in order to judge which of them is most likely and probable. As the violations of truth are more common in the testimony concerning religious miracles, than in that concerning any other matter of fact; this must diminish very much the authority of the former testimony, and make us form a general resolution, never to lend any attention to it, with whatever specious pretence it may be covered. 39 Lord Bacon seems to have embraced the same principles of reasoning. “We ought,” says he, “to make a collection or particular history of all monsters and prodigious births or productions, and in a word of every thing new, rare, and extraordinary in nature. But this must be done with the most severe scrutiny, lest we depart from truth. Above all, every relation must be considered as suspicious, which depends in any degree upon religion, as the prodigies of Livy: And no less so, everything that is to be found in the writers of natural magic or alchemy, or such authors, who seem, all of them, to have an unconquerable appetite for falsehood and fable.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
Naturally, without intending to, I transitioned from these dreams in which I healed myself to some in which I cared for others: I am flying over the Champs-Élysées Avenue in Paris. Below me, thousands of people are marching, demanding world peace. They carry a cardboard dove a kilometer long with its wings and chest stained with blood. I begin to circle around them to get their attention. The people, astonished, point up at me, seeing me levitate. Then I ask them to join hands and form a chain so that they can fly with me. I gently take one hand and lift. The others, still holding hands, also rise up. I fly through the air, drawing beautiful figures with this human chain. The cardboard dove follows us. Its bloodstains have vanished. I wake up with the feeling of peace and joy that comes from good dreams. Three days later, while walking with my children along the Champs-Élysées Avenue, I saw an elderly gentleman under the trees near the obelisk whose entire body was covered by sparrows. He was sitting completely still on one of the metal benches put there by the city council with his hand outstretched, holding out a piece of cake. There were birds flitting around tearing off crumbs while others waited their turn, lovingly perched on his head, his shoulders, his legs. There were hundreds of birds. I was surprised to see tourists passing by without paying much attention to what I considered a miracle. Unable to contain my curiosity, I approached the old man. As soon as I got within a couple of meters of him, all the sparrows flew away to take refuge in the tree branches. “Excuse me,” I said, “how does this happen?” The gentleman answered me amiably. “I come here every year at this time of the season. The birds know me. They pass on the memory of my person through their generations. I make the cake that I offer. I know what they like and what ingredients to use. The arm and hand must be still and the wrist tilted so that they can clearly see the food. And then, when they come, stop thinking and love them very much. Would you like to try?” I asked my children to sit and wait on a nearby bench. I took the piece of cake, reached my hand out, and stood still. No sparrow dared approach. The kind old man stood beside me and took my hand. Immediately, some of the birds came and landed on my head, shoulders, and arm, while others pecked at the treat. The gentleman let go of me. Immediately the birds fled. He took my hand and asked me to take my son’s hand, and he another hand, so that my children formed a chain. We did. The birds returned and perched fearlessly on our bodies. Every time the old man let go of us, the sparrows fled. I realized that for the birds when their benefactor, full of goodness, took us by the hand, we became part of him. When he let go of us, we went back to being ourselves, frightening humans. I did not want to disrupt the work of this saintly man any longer. I offered him money. He absolutely would not accept. I never saw him again. Thanks to him, I understood certain passages of the Gospels: Jesus blesses children without uttering any prayer, just by putting his hands on them (Matthew 19:13–15). In Mark 16:18, the Messiah commands his apostles, “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” St. John the Apostle says mysteriously in his first epistle, 1.1, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography)
THERE ARE MANY misconceptions about miracles. While this is not the place for an exhaustive explanation of miracles, their existence, their purpose, or their power, it is important that there be an acknowledgement that miracles are. Miracles still happen today, and as important as it is that we acknowledge their existence, we need also to understand how they occur. Simply put, a miracle is a dimensional interruption whereby God breaks into our mundane existence and changes our lives from ordinary to extraordinary. It is a thing of wonder, and we can, and should, live in wonder again!*
Ron Phillips (Unexplained Mysteries of Heaven and Earth: Surprising Insights About Our World and Beyond)
Ignored...was the one unbridgeable gap between physics and any such science of human behavior: the surprises that arise from free will and human creativity...they constitute the most important economic events. For a miracle is simply an innovation, a sudden and bountiful addition of information to the system.
George Gilder (Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World)
The passion for finding the system in experience, replacing surprise with order, is a persistent part of human nature...Science came to mean the elimination of surprise. It outlawed miracles, because miracles are above all unexpected.
George Gilder (Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World)
One reason that we find the emergence of life surprising is that we don't really see much of it. . . We are like Horton the elephant, too large to hear the Whos.
M.. (The Meaning(s) of Life: A Human's Guide to the Biology of Souls)
Most natural inanimate objects are symmetrical only by chance. Think of the uncommon delight in finding a perfectly shaped skipping stone or an evenly balanced cloud formation. Symmetrical forms and patterns that emerge from pure physical principles—crystals, tides, snowflakes—feel like miracles and are often held up as evidence of the divine. Order suggests the presence of an animate force, one that sequences molecules, assembles cell walls, circulates nutrients, and channels energy into growth and propagation.
Ingrid Fetell Lee (Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness)
The quick sun brings, exciting mountains warm, gay on the landscapers and green designs, miracle, yielding the sex up under all the skin, until the entire body watches the scene with love, sees perfect cliffs ranging until the river cuts sheer, mapped far below in delicate track, surprise of grace, the water running in the sun, magnificent flower on the mouth, surprise as lovers who look too long on the desired face startled to find the remote flesh so warm. A day of heat shed on the gorge, a brilliant day when love sees the sun behind its man and the disguised marvel under familiar skin.
Muriel Rukeyser (The Book of the Dead)
Surprisingly, the most passionate voice calling for an immediate end to the “infernal traffic” in captive Africans came from the Virginia delegation. George Mason, a wealthy plantation owner and brilliant lawyer who personally owned more than two hundred slaves, had come to see slavery as “a slow Poison…daily contaminating the Minds and Morals of our People.” He argued that holding slaves would “bring the judgment of heaven on a Country…As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes & effects providence punishes national sins, by national calamities.
Michael Medved (The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic)
An ordinary miracle, your body changing under my hands. And yet, how to believe in the obvious surprise? Extraordinary, unlikely that you should want me.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
None of us saw the birth of Christ. We missed His dazzling display of miracles during His earthly ministry. Likewise, nobody alive today beheld Christ's agony on the cross. None of us was an eyewitness of His glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven. But no Christian will sleep through the second coming of Christ. Though we did not see His first coming, we all will be eyewitnesses of His return. The climax of the exaltation of Jesus will be viewed by every believer.
R.C. Sproul (Surprised by Suffering: The Role of Pain and Death in The Christian Life)
The gospel of grace calls us to sing of the everyday mystery of intimacy with God instead of always seeking for miracles or visions. It calls us to sing of the spiritual roots of such commonplace experiences as falling in love, telling the truth, raising a child, teaching a class, forgiving each other after we have hurt each other, standing together in the bad weather of life, of surprise and sexuality, and the radiance of existence.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
Any time a film scores a massive hit or gets uniform critical acclaim, it's a surprise. When a film does both, it's a miracle.
Jeffrey Katzenberg
Noah wasn’t surprised. He’d been unable to imagine a scenario where his mother would have had a relationship that resulted in a pregnancy. It was hard to imagine her in any relationship at all. But knowing his father was a random, homeless man didn’t do much for Noah’s self-worth. He had no response to the revelation. What could he say? Surprisingly, it was his mother who broke the silence. “You’re a miracle, Noah,” she whispered, haltingly. “What?” “You’re a goddamn miracle.” Her vehemence shocked him, and he stared at her, waiting. She met his gaze before looking back at the TV. The honorable Harry Stone was comforting his bailiff, Bull. “You made me a believer,” she muttered. “In what?” He willed her to look at him again, afraid she would just stop talking like she so often did. “In God.” “Why?” he urged. His voice had risen, and she exhaled heavily, like the whole conversation just made her tired. “I sure as hell didn’t create you. That piece of shit who humped me didn’t create you. We made your body. But we didn’t make your soul. Your soul came from somewhere else, I’m sure of it.” It was the nicest thing his mother had ever said to him. The wisest thing. And maybe because she rarely said anything at all, he believed her.
Amy Harmon (The Smallest Part)
Conservative churches have spoken of miracles, in the sense of a god normally outside suddenly reaching in, doing something dramatic, and then going away again.
N.T. Wright (Surprised by Scripture: Engaging Contemporary Issues)
Dear God (if this really is you), I hate the church. I hate religion and everything about it. It seems so obvious that religion causes more problems than it solves. It manipulates and separates people with fear. The church is nothing more than a place for people to pose as someone they’re not. How can you defend all this hypocrisy?” Chelsea chuckled. “That’s from someone named Spencer, if I remember correctly.” “You’re good,” Tony said. “Dear Spencer, I don’t even try to defend hypocrisy. Now I have a question for you. Do you really think I started that? Don’t you think I’ve had my fill of worship charades, religious games, and fearmongering, as you and your friends say? You think I want this? No thank you. Yet, Spencer, I haven’t seen much compassion out of you, have I? You pride yourself in authenticity, yet behave like everyone in your own circle. You make irreligion a religion. Leave the hypocrites up to me. And from time to time, look up. Focus on me. I think you might be surprised by what you’ll find. Love, God.
Max Lucado (Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe)
I hope you do not think me too forward, but I noticed that you’ve danced with Don Villar twice in a row.” His normally ruddy face turned crimson. “People are already talking…and unless an engagement is to be announced—” “One will be.” She cut off his words and whispered, “Tonight.” She winked. “Please do not spoil the surprise.” His eyes widened and he tripped slightly on the next step. “Brilliant! That gives me great relief for your sake. And, I confess, a measure of dismay on my account.” His smile dimmed as his lips formed a rueful frown. “I had hoped to court you one day. I suppose I waited too long to work up the courage.” “Oh, Patrick.” She placed a hand on his sleeve. “I had no idea…” He shook his head. “Nor did I give you reason to. I have always been a bumbling fool at this sort of thing. Either way, I suppose it is for the best. I will always value our friendship, no matter what. And to the devil with what others say. I believe you would have made a damned fine physician. Mr. Wakley told me that you treated Villar’s arm, and I do not know a sawbones who could have performed such a miracle.” His
Brooklyn Ann (Bite at First Sight (Scandals with Bite, #3))
A Poem About Miracles Why don't the records go blank the instant the singer dies? Oh, I know there are explanations, but they don't convince me. I'm still surprised when I hear the dead singing. As for orchestras, I expect the instruments to fall silent one by one as the musicians succumb to cancer and heart disease so that toward the end I turn on a disc labelled Gotterdammerung and all that comes out is the sound of one sick old man scraping a shaky bow across an out-of-tune fiddle.
Alden Nowlan
myself to produce by will power a firm belief that my prayers for her recovery would be successful; and, as I thought, I achieved it. When nevertheless she died I shifted my ground and worked myself into a belief that there was to be a miracle. The interesting thing is that my disappointment produced no results beyond itself. The thing hadn’t worked, but I was used to things not working, and I thought no more about it. I think the truth is that the belief into which I had hypnotized myself was itself too irreligious for its failure to cause any religious revolution. I had approached God, or my idea of God, without love, without awe, even without fear. He was, in my mental picture of this miracle, to appear neither as Savior nor as Judge, but merely as a magician; and when He had done what was required of Him I supposed He would simply—well, go away. It never crossed my mind that the tremendous contact which I solicited should have any consequences beyond restoring the status quo. I imagine that a “faith” of this kind is often generated in children and that its disappointment is of no religious importance;
C.S. Lewis (Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life)
Just about every animal,” Scott says—not just mammals and birds—“ can learn, recognize individuals, and respond to empathy.” Once you find the right way to work with an animal, be it an octopus or an anaconda, together, you can accomplish what even Saint Francis might have considered a miracle.
Sy Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness)
When everything seems impossible, God is performing miracles, turning the tears of our suffering into an elixir of love that will heal souls' unseen.
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson (Knit Together: The Surprising Joy of Giving Up So God Can Give Us Everything)
life is still a constant surprise to me. We never know what will happen next, what we will see, and what important person will come into our life, or what important person we will lose. Life is change, constant change, and unless we are lucky enough to find comedy in it, change is nearly always a drama, if not a tragedy. But after everything, and even when the skies turn scarlet and threatening, I still believe that if we are lucky enough to be alive, we must give thanks for the miracle of every moment of every day, no matter how flawed. And we must have faith in God, and in the Universe, and in a better tomorrow, even if that faith is not always deserved.
Mark T. Sullivan (Beneath a Scarlet Sky)
Had I missed feeling joy? Surprise? Suddenly the joy came. And even surprise arrived, late as usual. A miracle! If miracles could happen, this was one. And who says we weren't ready for it and met it inappropriately, with broken phrases? We stood at the streetcar stop and began to laugh.
Christa Wolf (The Quest for Christa T.)
And for that entire, surprisingly pleasant journey, we pretended that we were not a group of people who had destroyed one another, but a family. Maybe there’s no difference between the two.
Casey Gerald (There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir)
Most men confuse the denotation of concepts with the connotation of them. The former means which part of reality you indicate under the concept, while the latter indicates which attributes you include into that reality. Complete various usage. You believe in God, I believe in God, both of us intuitively realize which part of reality we represent by the concept of ‘God’. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that your concept of ‘God’ and my concept of ‘God’ is the same with the respect to its content. So maybe God is, in my mind, only uncaused cause point in the cause-effect chain -- God is the cause of everything in the Universe, but it doesn’t need any cause for its existence. God is a termination, the convergence point of various cause-effect chains. Maybe, it seems more logical and rational for me, but it doesn’t necessarily require the belief in omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent God. All of them are the essential attributes of God, which can differ from you to me. Well, maybe I don’t believe that God can foreknow everything, that everything necessarily represent God’s will and God can change everything according to his will, break any natural regularity, which are being investigated by science and on which science predicts the future possible conditions of everything, and that God is strongly involved in the whole human civilization’s life and without his permission nobody and nothing could destroy that life. Similarly, maybe you could effectively argue that some of the writings in the Holy Scripture are true and maybe I, as a reasonable agnostic, would agree with you. However, even this fact wouldn’t mean that I think that the Holy Scripture is the product of divine knowledge but not human. Then maybe I seek for symbols and allegories there, which can stand for cosmological, historical, sexual visions of various ancient civilizations, but you seek after sacred texts for blind acceptance and examples for blind imitation. That is why before saying that somebody believes in God, think over what he means by claiming it; before being surprised at ‘miracles’ in Holy Scripture, turn over in your mind whether it could come into some rational human mind without any divine knowledge and figure out whether there had been similar mythological ‘miracle’ descriptions in ancient civilizations before that Holy Scripture. If you can free your mind from any religious presuppositions, quiet contemplation around it can change your vision of God and religious belief.
Elmar Hussein
You know, my young friend, I will be ninety years old next year, and life is still a constant surprise to me. We never know what will happen next, what we will see, and what important person will come into our life, or what important person we will lose. Life is change, constant change, and unless we are lucky enough to find comedy in it, change is nearly always a drama, if not a tragedy. But after everything, and even when the skies turn scarlet and threatening, I still believe that if we are lucky enough to be alive, we must give thanks for the miracle of every moment of every day, no matter how flawed.
Mark Sullivan
High above it all, the window washers hoist themselves up by the miracle of rope and hover in midair on small planks to clean away the grit of so many dreams discarded. They wipe their cloths until the lives on the other side of the window become clearer. Every now and then, faces appear at these windows. Eyes meet for a second, maybe two, the observed and the observer each surprised to find the other exists. Then they look quickly away, the connection unmade, islands once more.
Libba Bray (Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2))
Raven stood in the comparative shelter of the porch, her face turned up toward the sky, eyes closed. Tiny beads of perspiration dotted her forehead, and her fingers twisted together compulsively over her stomach. She was not with the others, rather somewhere out of her body and concentrating on attempting to find Byron’s location. Beside her stood her dark, intimidating husband, his mind obviously locked with hers. Mikhail was so like Jacques that Shea could not tear her gaze from him. As she moved onto the porch a step behind Jacques, she could clearly see that Mikhail was furious. He was seething with anger, violence swirling very close to the surface, yet his posture was purely protective. He had placed himself between Raven and the ferocity of the storm. Gregori was as still as a statue, his face a blank mask, his silvery eyes as empty as death, yet Shea gave him a wide berth. There was something dangerous in his utter stillness. Shea felt she had no way to sorting out the complexity of the Carpathian male’s nature. Gregori was watching Raven through narrowed, restless eyes, eyes that saw far too much. Suddenly he cursed, low and vicious, startling from someone of his stature and power. “She should not put herself at risk. She is with child.” His eyes met Jacques’, silver lightning and black ice. Total understanding between the two men. Shea merged her mind with Jacques’ quickly to try to understand the hidden currents. Raven’s pregnancy, if she was pregnant, changed everything as far as the men were concerned. Shea could see no evidence of a child--Raven appeared as slim as ever--but she couldn’t believe the healer would be wrong. He seemed so infallible, so completely invincible. The child was everything, all-important to the men. It surprised, even shocked her, the way they regarded the pregnancy. It was a miracle to both of them. The baby was more important than any of their lives. Shea was confused. Despite Jacques’ fractured memories, his protective streak was extremely strong. “He’s aware of his surroundings, but he can’t move. Even his mind is locked and still. He is paralyzed somehow.” Raven’s voice startled Shea, brought her back to the stormy weather and their rescue mission. Raven was clearly speaking of Byron. “He can’t move or call out, not even mentally. It is dark and damp, and he knows he will suffer greatly before they are done with him.” Raven swayed, her hands protectively covering her stomach. The healer moved, a blur of speed, catching her arm and wrenching her out into the driving rain. Gregori snagged Mikhail’s shirt, too, and yanked him into the fury of the storm. “Break off now, Raven,” Gregori commanded. He shook her, shook Mikhail. “Let go of him now!
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
You know, my young friend, I will be ninety years old next year, and life is still a constant surprise to me. We never know what will happen next, what we will see, and what important person will come into our life, or what important person we will lose. Life is change, constant change, and unless we are lucky enough to find comedy in it, change is nearly always a drama, if not a tragedy. But after everything, and even when the skies turn scarlet and threatening, I still believe that if we are lucky enough to be alive, we must give thanks for the miracle of every moment of every day, no matter how flawed. And we must have faith in God, and in the Universe, and in a better tomorrow, even if that faith is not always deserved.” “Pino Lella’s prescription for a long, happy life?” I said.
Mark T. Sullivan (Beneath a Scarlet Sky)
It is most comfortable to be invisible, to observe life from a distance, at one with our own intoxicating superior thoughts. But comfort and isolation are not where the surprises are. They are not where hope is. Hope tends to appear when we see that all sorts of disparate personalities can come together, no matter how different and jarring they may seem at first. Little kids think all colors or patterns of shirt go with all patterns and colors of pants, and it takes us elders a minute to see that they in fact do. Blue madras shorts can look great with a Peter Max print top, in the right hands—say, of someone who has found a visual rhythm, in patterns that play off each other without being chaotic. I’ve seen this many times. In life the fussy beautician can be beautiful beside the motorcyclist with neck tats, filling boxes with donated food for Thanksgiving dinners, or reading together on the same ratty couch at the library. Only together do we somehow keep coming through unsurvivable loss, the stress of never knowing how things will shake down, to the biggest miracle of all, that against all odds, we come through the end of the world, again and again—changed but intact (more or less).
Anne Lamott (Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair)
The best stories can be as unpredictable as miracles. They can surprise you, even when you think you know them by heart. So don’t expect me to tell you everything right up front; you might not believe it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that sometimes our minds prevent us from seeing the truth, even when it looks us square in the face.
Maureen Doyle McQuerry (Between Before and After)
She walked away before I had time to say a word, leaving me as surprised as if I had witnessed a miracle and as troubled as if I had committed a crime.
Anonymous
if you'll take a step of faith to become someone else’s miracle, God is going to surprise you in ways you never imagined.
Jamie Larbi (A Fresh Start: 5 Keys to Stepping into Your Best Season)
Yesterday I got a credit card application from a major bank with a variable rate of 12.99% to 20.99%. Such a deal. And what if I fall on hard times and lose my job? So, I wrote them a return letter: Dear major bank, Thank you for the opportunity to express how I really feel about your corporation. What I do appreciate, is that there is no stamp required for your return envelope. After tearing off all my personal information, so some dumpster diver doesn’t fill out your application for me, and find out he picked the wrong target; I just wanted to make one comment: Your practice of usury is despicable, along with crashing the global economy. Danny - I think I have my grandmother’s charm and wit. Too bad she’s not here to share it with. Maybe if every disgruntled person would use that free envelope and apply their creative talent, they might get the picture that we’re tired of this bullshit. Marcie, there are so many people you could visit and test your information extraction program on, so what are you people doing here? Is this just a practice run? Well, you wanted to know what I was thinking. And you wonder why I look to God for solutions. Wake me up when it’s over. Marcie - You are a crazy SOB. You want me to use my system to play Robin Hood. Danny - You’d make an excellent Robin Hood, make sure you get your merry band to sign on. Maybe that’s the reason we were connected by design. How much materialism do you really need? Some people take what they need from the orchard and other people pick the orchard clean. Marcie - You’re wondering what I’m thinking. I don’t want to mess your mind up with what I’m thinking, so let me simply say, I don’t approve of what some of these people have been doing for decades. Who do you think I am? Danny - Someone who frustrates me, don’t we have enough guessing games in life? Marcie - Marcie is a miracle worker, so what does that tell you? You do not even know what to make of me, someone who keeps coming back for you, someone who won’t let go of you. Danny - Why is it that there’s only a handful of words for truth and over 100 synonyms and derivatives for deception? Marcie - Are you surprised? Danny - It puts it in a different light when you start reading through the list. You may as well add amygdala hijacking. Marcie - Has Danny been bamboozled? Danny - You picked one with an unknown origin. Marcie - That is the best way to start a mind game. Danny - Okay, just for kicks, try saying synonym - cinnamon 10 times as fast as you can. From - "The Mind Game Company - The Players
Andrew Neff
The Oxi Technique By now you know that I love OxiClean in a deeply unnatural way. If you promise not to slap a scarlet A on me for being some sort of sexual deviant, I’ll admit that sometimes I whisper sweet nothings to my bucket of Oxi. So it will surprise you not to learn that I consider Oxi to be one of the best products out there when it comes to getting ugly yellow pit stains out from shirts. But a curious thing happened when I started recommending it to people for this purpose: some would come back to let me know that the Oxi didn’t do a thing to help cure their pit stains, while others were practically rapturous describing the miracle visited unto their white T-shirts.
Jolie Kerr (My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag . . . and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha)
I believe that some people who advertise great healing ministries are frauds. I believe that others, at the beginning of their ministry, were used in a significant way by the Lord for healing and miracles. But along the way they allowed themselves to become deceived, and now they are promoting themselves more than the Son of God. That kind of promotion may get large crowds and bring in significant amounts of money, but it does not please the Lord. Eventually those who promote themselves will lose their ministries and their intimacy with the Lord.
Anonymous (Surprised by the Power of the Spirit)
You’d be surprised how often we see this injury in New York,' he told me. The deli-flowers-rubber-band-eye-snap thing. Beware.
Rachel Dratch (Girl Walks Into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle)
It is (according to one’s point of view) either a wonderful piece of luck or a wise provision of God’s, that poetry which was to be turned into all languages should have as its chief formal characteristic one that does not disappear (as mere metre does) in translation.
C.S. Lewis (The C. S. Lewis Collection: Signature Classics and Other Major Works: The Eleven Titles Include: Mere Christianity; The Screwtape Letters, Miracles; The ... Surprised by Joy; and Letters to Malcolm)
Delighting in God’s Word while savoring a sunrise leaves time for miracles!
John M. Sheehan (Fact Or Fiction; God's Math Or Myth)
The apostles are not offering people a new religious experience, though that will come as well. They are not telling them that they can now go to heaven when they die, though they will, if they believe, there to wait until the resurrection itself. Nor are they telling them that God has done an extraordinary miracle that shows how powerful he is, though he has. They are to go and tell the world that Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, is the world’s true Lord and to summon them to believing obedience. And that is exactly what they do. Notice
N.T. Wright (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)
And just as the game was about to close, he scored a goal to close the game!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
This is not what I had planned for dessert, Louisa Windham.” Sir Joseph murmured the words near Louisa’s ear, though she was too enchanted with the feel of his weight above her to argue. “I’ve never wrestled with a grown man before.” “You had the element of surprise to aid you. When you are my wife, I will not be so easily subdued as to end up on my own hearth rug, regardless of the astonishing pleasures to be found there.” Louisa concluded she’d subdued him thoroughly, for he did not move off her where she lay on that rug. “Joseph, did you just use your tongue—?” “I’m tasting you, seeing if you savor of the Christmassy scent you’ve teased my nose with on so many occasions.” His voice had taken on a purring quality, the sound of it curling straight down beneath Louisa’s belly to places low and sweet. “I believe I will enjoy being married to you, sir.” “Hush.” He traced the curve of her ear with his nose, which made her shiver wonderfully. “I’m wrestling with my conscience—and, madam, I intend to emerge victorious from at least one struggle this evening—though be assured you shall enjoy certain parts of being married to me a great deal.” “One hoped that would be the—oh, Joseph…” He’d shifted, wedged his body more tightly into hers so she could feel his arousal. “The lady falls silent. Surely, the season of miracles is upon us.” Louisa
Grace Burrowes (Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight (The Duke's Daughters, #3; Windham, #6))
The gospel of grace calls us to sing of the everyday mystery of intimacy with God instead of always seeking for miracles or visions. It calls us to sing of the spiritual roots of such commonplace experiences as a class, forgiving each other after we have hurt each other, standing together in the bad weather of life, of surprise and sexuality, and the radiance of existence. Of such is the kingdom of heaven, and of such homely mysteries is genuine religion made. The conversion from mistrust to trust is a confident quest seeking the spiritual meaning of human existence. Grace abounds and walks around the edges of our everyday experience.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
Good afternoon. My name is Sara Lowell.” He looked at her, startled. “You’re Sara Lowell?” “You sound surprised.” “I am,” he said. “You’re not what I pictured.” “What did you picture?” He shrugged. “Something a little gruffer-looking, I guess.” “Gruffer-looking?” “Yeah. Dark, curly hair. Cigarette dangling from lip with an ash about to fall of. Manual typewriter. Black sweater. A little on the meaty side.” “Sorry if I disappointed you.” “Hardly,” he said. “What are you doing here, Miss Lowell?” “Sara.
Harlan Coben (Miracle Cure)
I heard her surprise and then the sigh as we began the rhythm of connection and self-absorption, the miracle of sex.
Delia Ephron (Siracusa)
She swallowed. “Who’s there?” she called out. Her voice, she was surprised to hear, sounded steady, confident. “I said, who’s there?” She saw the foot slide forward. The sneaker was completely black after all. Reeboks, as a matter of fact. A man, a big man, followed the sneakers. He was dressed entirely in black. Black sneakers, black socks, black sweater, black pants. His shirtsleeves were pushed up, revealing powerful forearms the size of Popeye’s. He stepped out from inside the doorway and smiled at her. The smile was wide, bright, but mostly . . . unfeeling. It touched no other part of his face. When she looked up into his dark, bleak eyes, a cold chill rippled in her belly And
Harlan Coben (Miracle Cure)
I’m the luckiest devil alive,” he muttered, his eyes dazed as if he couldn’t comprehend the extent of his good fortune. In that magical moment, Campion Parnell, poor, neglected, unloved, felt herself blossom into a woman capable of commanding nations with the merest hint of a smile. She drew herself up to her full height and extended her hand toward him. “I believe Lady Winterson has achieved another Christmas miracle in us, my lord.” “My darling, I—” She’d never seen him at a loss for words. That perilous lump of emotion lodged in her throat again, even as she told herself that she couldn’t cry here in public on the happiest night of her life. When Lachlan drew Campion aside, he attracted even more curious stares than he had arriving hand in hand with an unknown lady. “I want the world to know you’re mine.” “I am,” she murmured for his ears alone. The hand that he slid into his jacket wasn’t quite steady. He withdrew something small and glittering. “Say you’ll wear this tonight. And forever. Please.” The “please” touched her. But not quite as much as the sight of this supremely confident man regarding her with such agonized yearning in his green eyes. He extended the sparkling diamond ring toward her. “You’re certainly prepared,” she said huskily, staring at the ring without shifting forward. Tonight had been so packed with surprises. She became inured to marvels. “I intended to give it to you this afternoon,” he said in an undertone. “But you took to your heels before I had a chance.” Feeling as if a flaming torch burned inside her, she held her hand out in consent. “In future, I promise to stay and listen whenever you offer me diamonds.” “I’ll remember that.” His face alight with love, he slid the ring onto her finger. His shaking urgency made her realize anew that she wasn’t dreaming.
Anna Campbell (A Grosvenor Square Christmas)
Miracles surprises. It was a miracle from beginning to end. Surprised with love when came and surprised with a persistent desire when left.
Arindam Bhadra
Miracles surprises. It was a miracle from beginning to end. Surprised with love when came and surprised with a persistent desire.
Arindam Bhadra
I don’t know how to explain it.” “That’s the beauty of love,” Pete sings. “I’m not in love with her,” I challenge. “Not yet. But there’s a possibility.” “Yeah.” A lot of possibility. I grin. “Doesn’t she have a boyfriend?” Logan asks. I shake my head. “Not anymore. They broke up.” Logan’s eyes narrow, but he doesn’t say anything. “She gave me the impression that he didn’t like the idea of raising biracial kids.” I wince because I don’t even like saying it out loud. “How do you feel about that?” Logan asks. “Kids are kids,” I say. We have been exposed to so many types of people, and with Logan’s disability, we learned early what’s important in life. And now that Pete’s working with disabled kids and kids from the youth detention center, he often brings them home and we’re exposed even more. It doesn’t matter what your outsides look like; it’s your insides that count. “I want them almost as much as I want her,” I admit. “I’d be honored to have a place in their lives. Any place they’ll let me have.” Logan still looks flummoxed. “Stop looking at me like I’ve gone apeshit.” Logan shakes his head. “I’m just surprised,” he admits. “Me, too.
Tammy Falkner (Maybe Matt's Miracle (The Reed Brothers, #4))
Bonhoeffer spoke of death too: In recent years we have become increasingly familiar with the thought of death. We surprise ourselves by the calmness with which we hear of the death of one of our contemporaries. We cannot hate it as we used to for we have discovered some good in it, and have almost come to terms with it. Fundamentally we feel that we really belong to death already, and that every new day is a miracle. It would probably not be true to say that we welcome death (although we all know that weariness which we ought to avoid like the plague); we are too inquisitive for that—or, to put it more seriously, we should like to see something more of the meaning of our life’s broken fragments. . . . We still love life, but I do not think that death can take us by surprise now. After what we have been through during the war, we hardly dare admit that we should like death to come to us, not accidentally and suddenly through some trivial cause, but in the fullness of life and with everything at stake. It is we ourselves, and not outward circumstances, who make death what it can be, a death freely and voluntarily accepted.
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
While she was playing that music for the garden, another crazy person appeared : Eduard, a schizophrenic who was beyond all cure. She was not frightened by his presence; on the contrary, she smiled, and to her surprise, he smiled back. The music could penetrate even his remote world, more distant than the moon itself; it could even perform miracles.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
Practical hopes are surprise whereas impractical hope is always a miracle!
Fahad Basheer
In the taut silence, Zachary opened his eyes and watched as Holly picked up a glass bottle and shook a few drops of some clear liquid into her palm. “What is that?” he asked. “Pomade.” “I don't like pomade,” he muttered. “Yes, I'm aware of that.” There was a touch of amusement in her voice. She rubbed her hands together, distributing the stuff evenly over her fingers and palms. “I'll only use a bit. But you can't go to a formal occasion with your hair falling over your forehead.” Resigned, he sat still beneath her ministrations. He felt her damp fingers moving through his hair, gently rubbing the hot scalp beneath, smoothing the pomade through his rebellious black locks. “Everyone in your family has the same hair,” Holly commented, a smile lingering in her voice. “It has a will of its own. We had to use two entire racks of pins to make Elizabeth's hair behave.” Racked with pleasure and exquisite tension, Zachary couldn't reply. The feel of her hands on his head, the soft massage of her fingertips, was nothing less than torture. She combed his hair neatly, guiding it back from his forehead, and by some miracle it stayed in place. “There,” Holly said in satisfaction. “Very gentlemanly indeed.” “Did you ever do this for him?” Zachary heard himself ask hoarsely. “For George?” Holly went still. When their gazes met, he saw the surprise in her warm brown eyes. Then she smiled faintly. “Well, no. I don't believe George ever had a hair out of place.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
Same day same morning, some miracle happen at night. I hold his hands in my hands, and perceive in his eyes. I feel him, I kissed him, I surprised and he look into my eyes. I know him, I love him, He is my entire life. Time passes in his speed, After 3 years I much more love him. Day by day, months by months, We meet and enjoy lives. One day, more changes in life, Their is a boundary in between us. We can't meet, we can't see, How some one decide. Time passes in his speed, I believe in time change. We again meet, we again love. Our life is a beautiful life.
LoveExpress
From experience in Boulogne and Calais, Tennant had a good idea of the chaos he might encounter of an army – possibly even two armies – in full retreat. He and Ramsay hoped that the distinctive blue of a naval uniform would be able to assert some authority, when army officers and men were all dressed in khaki battledress. On the way across, his sailors were issued with revolvers, much to their surprise, and were told they were to shoot anyone who tried to jump the queues.  Tennant’s officers were sceptical and told him he needed some additional nomenclature. They decided he should have the letters SNO, for ‘Senior Naval Officer’, on his white helmet. There was no paint available, so he cut out the letters from the silver paper from a cigarette packet, and stuck them on with the pea soup he had just been served for lunch.
David Boyle (Dunkirk: A Miracle of Deliverance)
I was startled when a knock came at door and instead of a servant- in walked a hallucination, or apparition or miracle- I couldn't decide which.
Stephanie Dray (America's First Daughter)
I see myself hunkered over him while he rocks our new born baby, so gently I'm crying. I see four kids and a French bulldog. A little boy and two twin girls, plus Mia. All ours. Equal parts miracle and beautiful. I even see my dying breath, him at my side, eyes locked on me so intense they pierce the veil and say, I will fucking find you again.
Nicole Snow (Surprise Daddy)
Molly had heard that some staff nurses treated agency nurses poorly, but she was surprised now that it was happening to her. “If the agency nurses weren’t there, the staff nurses would have a much higher patient ratio,” she explained. “We make their job easier, but they’re rude and unfair.” Another agency nurse had told Molly that one day she had arrived at an ER that had a total of seven patients. The charge nurse assigned her all seven. When the nurse asked why, the charge nurse said, “You’re agency. You’re getting paid more than us. You can handle it.
Alexandra Robbins (The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital)
June 21 THE MINISTRY OF THE INNER LIFE “You are . . . a royal priesthood . . . .” 1 Peter 2:9     By what right have we become “a royal priesthood”? It is by the right of the atonement by the Cross of Christ that this has been accomplished. Are we prepared to purposely disregard ourselves and to launch out into the priestly work of prayer? The continual inner-searching we do in an effort to see if we are what we ought to be generates a self-centered, sickly type of Christianity, not the vigorous and simple life of a child of God. Until we get into this right and proper relationship with God, it is simply a case of our “hanging on by the skin of our teeth,” although we say, “What a wonderful victory I have!” Yet there is nothing at all in that which indicates the miracle of redemption. Launch out in reckless, unrestrained belief that the redemption is complete. Then don’t worry anymore about yourself, but begin to do as Jesus Christ has said, in essence, “Pray for the friend who comes to you at midnight, pray for the saints of God, and pray for all men.” Pray with the realization that you are perfect only in Christ Jesus, not on the basis of this argument: “Oh, Lord, I have done my best; please hear me now.”     How long is it going to take God to free us from the unhealthy habit of thinking only about ourselves? We must get to the point of being sick to death of ourselves, until there is no longer any surprise at anything God might tell us about ourselves. We cannot reach and understand the depths of our own meagerness. There is only one place where we are right with God, and that is in Christ Jesus. Once we are there, we have to pour out our lives for all we are worth in this ministry of the inner life.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
FOR TOO LONG THE CHURCH has played defense in the battle for souls. We hear of what some cult or political party is planning to do, and we react by creating strategies to counter the enemies’ plans. Committees are formed, boards discuss, and pastors preach against whatever it is the devil is doing or about to do. This may come as a surprise, but I don’t care what the devil plans to do. The Great Commission puts me on the offensive. I’ve got the ball. And if I carry the ball effectively, his plans won’t matter.
Bill Johnson (When Heaven Invades Earth Expanded Edition: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles)
Jarvis had to keep avoiding the increasing numbers of both rioters and fleeing citizens as well as a number of people in cars with the same idea. He was surprised to feel annoyed. Here was the first honest-to-goodness miracle he was witness to in his entire life as a clergyman and he wasn’t able to see it because he had to keep his eyes on the road. Why were the mysteries of faith so inscrutable?
Patrick Ness (The Crash of Hennington)
When we act based on love rather than hate, the universe often finds surprising ways to support us.
Joseph Pierce Farrell (Manifesting Michelangelo: The True Story of a Modern-Day Miracle--That May Make All Change Possible)
But it was option three that won out. Always one to savor new adventures, I opted to bathe Oscar the old-fashioned way — shampoo and water, in the shower. Weighing the situation, I concluded that Oscar had the advantage of quickness, cunning, claws that could remove all skin from my body, and a lack of concern for human life. I had the element of surprise, strength, and the advantage of battlefield selection.
Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What?: 101 Amazing Stories of Magical Moments, Miracles, and… Mischief)
When the girls were small, I heard Poppy tell one of her friends, “I don’t see how you could ever have a favorite when there are just two: one will always and forever be your first, the miracle baby, the one who paves the way, strikes out for adventure—the intrepid one, the one who teaches you how to do what nature intended all along—and the other, oh the other will always be your baby, your darling, the one you surprised yourself by loving just as desperately much as you loved the first.” Pursuant
Julia Glass (The Widower's Tale)
The Bible talks about people who had everything a person can own, and they still didn’t have a good day. A good day is one when you are at peace. If you have peace inside you, you will have a good day. If you find Jesus, you will have peace.” As
Surprise Sithole (Voice in the Night: The True Story of a Man and the Miracles That Are Changing Africa)
The heron must be used to people, and yet it never lets you get too close. Draw parallel to it with the width of one of the marsh’s holding ponds between you, and it will duck its head, eyeing you with suspicion, then fly. I cannot approach the heron, certainly could never touch it; I can only look for it, entranced. This is how I understand the divine, and why I continue to seek it in the resolutely non-human world, with which we nonetheless recognize a numinous kinship. Sometimes, it will turn and lock eyes with you, lifting you out of yourself, changing everything. Other times, it will give you the side-eye and swoop away, leaving you longing for retreating beauty. You might not see it every single time you go looking, or where you expect to find it. No matter how common the experience, every time you stumble across mystery, or independent wild being, it is a surprise and a miracle. And every day, you can look." - Sara Amis, "A Daily Heron
John Halstead (Godless Paganism: Voices of Non-Theistic Pagans)
At the end of our time together, he said, “You speak English very well. Where did you learn it?” I did not know what to say; all this time I thought we were speaking Portuguese! All I could do was laugh. God had given me the language when I needed it. What an amazing God! He supplies all our needs!
Surprise Sithole (Voice in the Night: The True Story of a Man and the Miracles That Are Changing Africa)
I cannot tell you the exact moment it happened, but as I continued, I was suddenly aware that I was no longer speaking in my own language. Gafar’s eyes grew wide, as if he thought I had lost my mind and was spouting gibberish. I think we both realized at the same instant that I was speaking the local Chichewa dialect. It was as if someone had thrown a switch and everyone was immediately able to understand me. From that day forward, I have been able to speak the Chichewa language fluently. In fact, the very first Bible I ever owned was in the Chichewa language. This was the first of many occasions when God supernaturally enabled me to speak a language I had never learned.
Surprise Sithole (Voice in the Night: The True Story of a Man and the Miracles That Are Changing Africa)
Doctors and medicine are wonderful gifts from God, but often healing will come through drawing closer to God.
Surprise Sithole (Voice in the Night: The True Story of a Man and the Miracles That Are Changing Africa)
I could not bear the thought of anyone going into the fire of hell, I felt compelled to share the Gospel with as many people as I could. Sometimes
Surprise Sithole (Voice in the Night: The True Story of a Man and the Miracles That Are Changing Africa)
Don't despise those little things you can do well; they contain tiny miracles that can amaze you and you will change the world. Be a world changer in your own way! We look up to you!
Israelmore Ayivor (Daily Drive 365)
Yeah. No matter what Coach does or doesn't do. Because ... I'm going on my terms. Even if by some miracle he recommends me for the scholarship, I'm not taking it." That surprises her. "I don't get it." "That's why I had no choice but to let that pitch go by. I had to prove to myself that I could live without baseball. I can't go to college on their terms. I can't be the ballplayer first and the student second, and if they're giving me an athletic scholarship, believe me—that's what it would be. Athlete-scholar, not the other way around. No one can convince me otherwise. "So, yeah. I'll have to take out student loans. I'll have to work my ass off. But that's OK.
Barry Lyga (Boy Toy)
There is no definitive acquisition from which history can rise without losing an inch of the height it has attained: the bourgeoisie which was the revolution became the ancien regime, and, when reflecting on the French Revolution, it identifies itself with the old ruling class. At the same time that there is historical progress, there is, therefore, a consolidation, a destruction, a trampling of history; and at the same time as a permanent revolution, there is a permanent decadence which overtakes the ruling class in proportion as it rules and endures, for by ruling it abdicates what had made it "progressive," loses its rallying power, and is reduced to the protection of private interests. Throughout history, revolutions meet one another and institutions resemble one another; every revolution is the first revolution, and every institution, even a revolutionary institution, is tempted by historical precedents. This does not mean that everything is in vain and that nothing can be done: each time the struggle is different, the minimum of demandable justice rises, and, besides, according to these very principles, conservatism is utopian. But this means that the revolution which would recreate history is infinitely distant, that there is a similarity among ruling classes insofar as they are ruling and among ruled classes insofar as they are ruled, and that, for this reason, historical advances cannot be added like steps in a staircase. The Marxists know this very well when they say that the dictatorship of the proletariat turns the weapons of the bourgeoisie against the bourgeoisie. But then a proletarian philosophy of history holds to the miracle that the dictatorship may use the bourgeoisie's weapons without becoming something like a bourgeoisie; that a class may rule without becoming decadent when in point of fact any class which rules the whole proves to be particular by that very action; that a historical formation, the proletariat, may be established as a ruling class without taking upon itself the liabilities of the historical role; that it may accumulate and keep intact in itself all the energy of all past revolution and unfailingly give life to its institutional apparatus and progressively annul its degeneration. It is to act as if everything that historically exists were not at the same time movement and inertia, it is to place in history, as contents, on the one hand the principle of resistance (called the bourgeoisie) and on the other the principle of movement (called the proletariat), when these are the very structure of history as a passage to generality and to the institution of relationships among persons...To believe in proletarian revolution is to arbitrarily assert that history's sliding back on itself and the resurrection of past ghosts are bad dreams, that history carries within itself its own cure and will surprise us with it...One does not kill for relative progress. The very nature of revolution is to believe itself absolute and to not be absolute precisely because it believes itself to be so.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty
From the moment I recognize that my experience, precisely insofar as it is my own, makes me accessible to what is not myself, that I am sensitive to the world and to others, all the beings which objective thought placed at a distance draw singularly nearer to me. Or, conversely, I recognize my affinity with them; I am nothing but an ability to echo them, to understand them, to respond to them. My life seems absolutely individual and absolutely universal to me. This recognition of an individual life which animates all past and contemporary lives and receives its entire life from them, of a light which flashes from them to us contrary to all hope--this is metaphysical consciousness, whose first stage is surprise at discovering the confrontation of opposites and whose second stage is recognition of their identity in the simplicity of doing. Metaphysical consciousness has no other abjects than those of experience: this world, other people, human history, truth, culture. But instead of taking them as ail settled, as consequences with no premises, as if they were self-evident, it rediscovers their fundamental strangeness to me and the miracle of their appearing...Understood in this way, metaphysics is the opposite of system.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Sense and Non-Sense)
He missed the women he’d never get to sleep with. On the other side of the room, tantalizing at the next table, that miracle passing by the taqueria window giving serious wake. They wore too much make up or projected complex emotions onto small animals, smiled exactly so, took his side when no one else would, listened when no one else cared to. They were old money or fretted over ludicrously improbable economic disasters, teetotaled or drank like sailors, pecked like baby birds at his lips or ate him up greedily. They carried slim vocabularies or stooped to conquer in the wordsmith board games he never got the hang of. They were all gone, these faceless unknowables his life’s curator had been saving for just the right moment, to impart a lesson he’d probably never learn. He missed pussies that were raring to go when he slipped a hand beneath the elastic rim of the night-out underwear and he missed tentative but coaxable recesses, stubbled armpits and whorled ankle coins, birthmarks on the ass shaped like Ohio, said resemblance he had to be informed of because he didn’t know what Ohio look like. The size. They were sweet-eyed or sad-eyed or so successful in commanding their inner turbulence so that he could not see the shadows. Flaking toenail polish and the passing remark about the scent of a nouveau cream that initiated a monologue about its provenance, special ingredients, magic powers, and dominance over all the other creams. The alien dent impressed by a freshly removed bra strap, a garment fancy or not fancy but unleashing big or small breasts either way. He liked big breasts and he liked small breasts; small breasts were just another way of doing breasts. Brains a plus but negotiable. Especially at 3:00am, downtown. A fine fur tracing an earlobe, moles at exactly the right spot, imperfections in their divine coordination. He missed the dead he’d never lose himself in, be surprised by, disappointed in.
Colson Whitehead (Zone One)
it. After several moments of quiet, Pino said, “You know, my young friend, I will be ninety years old next year, and life is still a constant surprise to me. We never know what will happen next, what we will see, and what important person will come into our life, or what important person we will lose. Life is change, constant change, and unless we are lucky enough to find comedy in it, change is nearly always a drama, if not a tragedy. But after everything, and even when the skies turn scarlet and threatening, I still believe that if we are lucky enough to be alive, we must give thanks for the miracle of every moment
Mark T. Sullivan (Beneath a Scarlet Sky)
Your subconscious mind naturally knows how to create the miracle of abundance.
Elle Sommer (Reboot Your Money Mindset: Surprising Strategies For Mastering Wealth (Mindset Mastery))
Even if you went through so much, God has not run out of miracles for your life. Have faith and hold just a little while. One day, you will be surprised!
Gift Gugu Mona (The Essence of Faith: Daily Inspirational Quotes)
The miracle of each day. It never ceases to surprise and amaze.
AVIS Viswanathan
And what was behind the harmony of the apples, of the pink lady’s slippers I found on my farther-ranging walks, or of the yellow mayflies and the trout that sipped them in nearby Great Brook? It seemed to me the result of the inevitable unfolding of laws laid down by the universe and embedded in the elements at hand: air and water, sunshine and earth. It was not by chance that the trees and leaves assumed their unique colors and shapes, or that small streams flowed into bigger streams, or that the fireflies lit their little lanterns of phosphorescence among the grasses at night. All of this was the consequence of what the universe had commanded. It was chemistry, biology, physics and some inexpressible something else mixed together into one thing, and that thing was inevitability. We respond to the grasses, the trees and the brooks because we sense a deeper truth in them. A brook cannot be false or a tree deceptive, and because we as a species grew up with them, and among them, we are essentially part of them and they of us. By what other means can we be said to be made? What is evolution but the interaction of our potential with the reality of nature? The apples, the leaves, the mayflies, the trout – they express the harmony of nature, as well as the miracle of nature. We are included in this miracle, and the surprise would be that a separation from nature would result in anything *but* alienation from our deepest and earliest selves, that a reconnection would be anything but a sense of coming home. All of us, it seems to me, seek to recapture the sensations and selves of our childhoods, and nature offers the best way back, to the freshest parts of our true and original essence.
Lou Ureneck (Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream, and Five Acres in Maine)
There can be no doubt that the Spanish missionaries in the U.S. were much assisted in their efforts by many miracles, such as the one at Guadalupe. Most spectacular and best known of these is the experience of Venerable Maria de Agreda (1602-1665). At that time, the first Franciscan missionaries reached the tribes of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. Much to their surprise, the padres found that a few of the tribes were already aware of Catholicism, knew its doctrines, and asked for Baptism. When asked how they knew, they replied that they had been taught by a lady in blue. Several of the Friars returned to Spain, and found Maria de Agreda, head of a convent of nuns who wore blue habits; she claimed to have bilocated to the New World to instruct Indians there. Questioned in detail about the appearances and customs of those she allegedly had taught, she described to them perfectly the tribes they had just left. The account is commemorated in a picture at the Cathedral of Fort Worth, Texas.
Charles A. Coulombe (Puritan's Empire)
Even now, the driver treated her with much more respect as a priest than she’d ever known as a nun. He was deferential, though not uncomfortable. Agnes was surprised to find that this treatment entirely gratified her, and yet seemed familiar as though it was her due. Robes or not, I am human, she said to herself. So this is what a priest gets, heads bowing and curious respectful attention! Back on the train, people also had given Father Damien more privacy. It was as though in priest’s garments she walked within a clear bell of charged air.
Louise Erdrich (The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse)
Sienna woke up to the sound of panic coming from Paige’s side of the room. “Shit. What the….Why am I? Oh my God.” Paige said, sounding like she was on the verge of tears before running out of the room. Sienna began laughing uncontrollably. It had taken a full week of patiently waiting for this moment and she was glad she was around to witness it. She knew exactly what had just happened and all she needed was a bag of popcorn to make the moment an even more entertaining show. She grabbed her shower caddy and made her way to the showers for a casual stroll. She’d pretend she was in for a shower and catch the show live and in person. Payback really was a bitch. Upon walking into the community showers, the echoing sounds of Paige’s whimpers led Sienna right to her. Sienna walked around with her caddy, with a smile on her face and eventually was within sight of Paige. Her athletically toned body was red from the scorching hot water hitting her body. She scratched like a dog with fleas. “Aw, what’s wrong? Feeling a bit...itchy? Soap and water work miracles. Is it crabs? Maybe you’re allergic to yourself. I mean it wouldn’t surprise me if your own body was trying to get away from you.” Sienna said, holding back the urge to laugh hysterically. “Shut up, Sienna! This isn’t funny.” Paige whimpered, continuing to scratch. “It can’t be that bad.” Sienna smirked. “You know there’s probably a cream for that itch.” “I know you’re totally getting off on watching me naked, Arkansas. You didn’t have to go to these extremes to do it.” Paige said, clearly pretending she was stronger than her itch. “Wow! You’re more delusional than I thought you were. Listen, I'm a nice person and I won't spread any rumors about you and your....Uncontrollable urge to scratch but if you mess with me again, I promise next time I won't be so nice. Oh and by the way I'm not a fan of slumber parties so find somewhere else to hook up with your little girlfriends.” Sienna said, blowing a kiss at Paige while walking away. Sienna walked out of the showers proud of herself and listened one last time as Paige screamed from the combination of anger and itching.
Amber M. Kestner (A Secret Love Affair)
Clary held her hands up. 'I do get it. I know you don’t like me, Isabelle. Because I’m a mundane to you.' 'You think that’s why—' Isabelle broke off, her eyes bright; not just with anger, Clary saw with surprise, but with tears. “God, you don’t understand anything, do you? You’ve known Jace what, a month? I’ve known him for seven years. And all the time I’ve known him, I’ve never seen him fall in love, never seen him even like anyone. He’d hook up with girls, sure. Girls always fell in love with him, but he never cared. I think that’s why Alec thought—” Isabelle stopped for a moment, holding herself very still. She’s trying not to cry, Clary thought in wonder—Isabelle, who seemed like she never cried. “It always worried me, and my mom, too—I mean, what kind of teenage boy never even gets a crush on anyone? It was like he was always half-awake where other people were concerned. I thought maybe what had happened with his father had done some sort of permanent damage to him, like maybe he never really could love anyone. If I’d only known what had really happened with his father—but then I probably would have thought the same thing, wouldn’t I? I mean, who wouldn’t have been damaged by that?' 'And then we met you, and it was like he woke up. You couldn’t see it, because you’d never known him any different. But I saw it. Hodge saw it. Alec saw it—why do you think he hated you so much? It was like that from the second we met you. You thought it was amazing that you could see us, and it was, but what was amazing to me was that Jace could see you, too. He kept talking about you all the way back to the Institute; he made Hodge send him out to get you; and once he brought you back, he didn’t want you to leave again. Wherever you were in the room, he watched you…. He was even jealous of Simon. I’m not sure he realized it himself, but he was. I could tell. Jealous of a mundane. And then after what happened to Simon at the party, he was willing to go with you to the Dumort, to break Clave Law, just to save a mundane he didn’t even like. He did it for you. Because if anything had happened to Simon, you would have been hurt. You were the first person outside our family whose happiness I’d ever seen him take into consideration. Because he loved you.' Clary made a noise in the back of her throat. 'But that was before—' 'Before he found out you were his sister. I know. And I don’t blame you for that. You couldn’t have known. And I guess you couldn’t have helped that you just went right on ahead and dated Simon afterward like you didn’t even care. I thought once Jace knew you were his sister, he’d give up and get over it, but he didn’t, and he couldn’t. I don’t know what Valentine did to him when he was a child. I don’t know if that’s why he is the way he is, or if it’s just the way he’s made, but he won’t get over you, Clary. He can’t. I started to hate seeing you. I hated for Jace to see you. It’s like an injury you get from demon poison—you have to leave it alone and let it heal. Every time you rip the bandages off, you just open the wound up again. Every time he sees you, it’s like tearing off the bandages.' 'I know,' Clary whispered. “How do you think it is for me?” 'I don’t know. I can’t tell what you’re feeling. You’re not my sister. I don’t hate you, Clary. I even like you. If it were possible, there isn’t anyone I’d rather Jace be with. But I hope you can understand when I say that if by some miracle we all get through this, I hope my family moves itself somewhere so far away that we never see you again.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
That we are mostly quarks and water, but still feel joy is a bona fide miracle. Blood hymns in sunshine. Joy plunges its little dagger of shivers over and over, into our hearts. Joy is the surprise, after the surprise, after apocalyptic narratives. I’m for joy getting its own Nobel Prize.
Chris Banks (Deepfake Serenade)
I Am Crying For You ...The only thing That remains Is hope; I don’t want to lose you; I pray for a miracle That will unite us again I had a long time To cry And it took me By surprise That these days I am crying for you
Jazalyn (The Tears of the Heart: Eight (8) Phases of Heartbreak)
Most natural inanimate objects are symmetrical only by chance. Think of the uncommon delight in finding a perfectly shaped skipping stone or an evenly balanced cloud formation. Symmetrical forms and patterns that emerge from pure physical principles—crystals, tides, snowflakes—feel like miracles and are often held up as evidence of the divine.
Ingrid Fetell Lee (Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness)
Not many of us will get to witness a resurrection but most of us will find, over and over again, that our worst fears never materialize. Life has a beautiful way of continuing to give us mornings and second chances. Just when we think the story is over, we get surprise endings and miracles.
Mary Davis (Every Day Spirit: A Daybook of Wisdom, Joy and Peace)
Jesus’s miracle, stunning and spectacular as it is, convinces exactly no one of his messiahship.
Chris E. W. Green (Surprised by God: How and Why What We Think about the Divine Matters)
several moments of quiet, Pino said, “You know, my young friend, I will be ninety years old next year, and life is still a constant surprise to me. We never know what will happen next, what we will see, and what important person will come into our life, or what important person we will lose. Life is change, constant change, and unless we are lucky enough to find comedy in it, change is nearly always a drama, if not a tragedy. But after everything, and even when the skies turn scarlet and threatening, I still believe that if we are lucky enough to be alive, we must give thanks for the miracle of every moment of every day, no matter how flawed. And we must have faith in God, and in the Universe, and in a better tomorrow, even if that faith is not always deserved.
Mark T. Sullivan (Beneath a Scarlet Sky)