This book is inspired by two great poets, Emily Dickinson, who wrote, "The only news I get every day is bulletins from immortality," and Gerard Manley Hopkins, who proclaimed "The world is charged with the grandeur of God." Putting these two proclamations together opened my eyes and soul to marvel at the beauties of nature, the goodness of friends and family, and especially the love of God shown in so many ways, often surprising, every day. The result is my 14th book, called Miracles Abound--When We Open Our Hearts to God (Twenty-Third Publications, Mystic, Ct.).
We must acknowledge the pain, sufferings and sometimes even evil in every person's life, but when we acknowledge the "bulletins" God sends, we move to the place where we can accept mystery as being better than answers. Once we get to this place, we begin to truly understand how connected we are to our eternal roots. I wanted to share this idea--and the result was "Miracles Abound".
If we look, we all can see the signs that God permeates our world. God desires that we never ignore his divine presence in every created thing.
From the Introduction of "Miracles Abound:
"Mid-October in the New York-Connecticut region where I live wears an incredible robe of color. This is due to the changing hues of the leaves on so many varieties of trees here. But while we northerners expect this array of beauty and look forward to it, we can never take this gift of nature--which I have often called "God's Photo Album"--for granted.
This hit me as I was driving on the Taconic Parkway after a trip to my home town of Albany, N.Y. to visit my mother and other members of my family. My mom, in a nursing home, is 94 and suffers from severe dementia. She doesn't know us any more, but she smiles radiantly at us, convincing us that she is so very happy to have us there. We thank God constantly that she is in no pain as she regresses, without reversal, to a stage of infantilism.
But as I drove along, I kept thinking of her, and was having a hard time controlling my sadness that this was how her life was slowly going to fade away. I felt so low that I wasn't even noticing the reds and golds of the changing leaves bordering both sides of the road, until something unexpected happened.
A posted notice said to "watch for sign" ahead. Obviously I was going to hit some construction. I paid attention to the road, but then I saw something that clearly took my breath away. A huge evergreen tree in the center divider was not standing alone. Bursting from its top was a huge, lofty "crown" of magnificent golden leaves. And at either side of it, the gold leaves appeared like slender arms at shoulder height pointing upward. I think I gasped in awe at this unexpected beauty that was indeed a sign for me. I believe God was telling me to lighten up. All was well. Heaven was taking good care of my mother.
I had been advised there'd be a sign ahead. I did indeed get one! As I drove along, I remembered some lines attributed to poet Emily Dickinson: "All the news I know is Bulletins all day from Immortality."
Those entwined trees were, without a doubt, a bulletin for me from Eternity. I think I needed that jolt, to remind me of how God permeates our world, and wants us never to ignore his presence in every created thing.
I used to be better at recognizing those "Bulletins--From Eternity." I could marvel at the different colors and varieties of birds and flowers, at the incredible designs of snowflakes. If I go on, you'll think I'm "losing it," as so many put it these days.
Maybe not. Maybe I'm finding again what we were never meant to ignore. I sometimes wonder if we're all wrong about what our judgment will be when we get to face God. Wouldn't it be something if S/He asked us first and foremost not about sins, but about how we responded to the bulletins we were given from Eternity: "Did you relish the breeze in your face, the sight of the sun setting, the taste of good food, the songs of the birds, the racing of the rabbits, the body that could move, feel joy, love and pleasure‚?¶" and on and on.
I don't have any answers for the heavy questions, like why God allows evil and pain and suffering. But I see the Bulletins from Eternity, signed: "Love, God," and I can say "Amen."