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Lenten devotional - day 24

Lent is about life. Life, as I have said, is often hard, sometimes wonderful, and always a miracle. It takes repentance on our behalf to realize life is a miracle.

Again, the Greek word for repent means “to change your mind.” It is easy to think that life isn’t miraculous. Humans can get so caught up in the things we need to do, the endless flow of days and seasons and years, that we fail to remember the absurdity that we exist. We need to change our minds when we forget that life is a miracle.

Yesterday I was driving down a street in my town. The rain had let up for a moment, and outside a local pizza shop maybe fifteen boys no more than ten years old, were standing in front of it along the street. I imagine they were a little league team having a party, and like young boys are apt to be, they were rambunctious.

They were on the sidewalk along the street and giving the universal American sign kids have made to big rigs to blow their horns. I hear that the tradition is dying, and I wonder if those kids had actually just learned it and went to see if it worked.

But there they were giving the “trucker salute” to me in my little Honda Civic. It took me a second to realize what they were doing, but once I realized it, when I was just about next to them, I honked my horn. I wish you could have seen their celebration. Even with the windows up in my car I could hear their shouts of joy. It was so beautifully innocent and simple.

I was turning at the corner and heard another car honk and another celebration ensue, and I smiled. Do you know when you smile, but whatever smile your face does cannot compare to the smile of your soul?

My soul smiled. In the midst of this world with its violence, where somewhere right then a boy their age was being abused, suffering in war, or far worse, those boys enjoyed the moment and took me out of myself so I could enjoy it too.

It was then I remembered that all of life is a miracle. I didn’t necessarily forget; I just don’t pay attention. My mind is focused on all sorts of things, some good, some bad, mostly things that are neither good nor bad, and I simply forget the miracle of existing.

Jesus said that unless we accept the kingdom of God like a child, we won’t ever get it. I’ve no idea how much ink has been spilt on those words. I’m sure some of those words are good, some are bad, and most are neither good nor bad. But I find that children often help me see the miracle of life more easily. Maybe that is accepting the kingdom of God.

Those boys giving the “trucker salute” helped me yesterday. They changed my mind. Instead of whatever I was thinking, I began thinking about their joy. By thinking about their joy, I honked a horn twice. Could it be any simpler? Just honking a horn, and from my returning their simple gesture with my simple gesture, joy erupted. They shouted out and acted like children, and my soul smiled. For the briefest and holiest of moments we added to each other’s joy.

I didn’t realize until yesterday that honking a horn could be part of the miracle of living. Where did you witness the miracle of living today?

Until tomorrow,