I believe you should expect miracles in your life. A week in the snow covered Appalachian mountains of West Virginia taught me this little proverb and demonstrated it to be true. Snow began to lightly fall as I stepped out of the minivan and onto the grounds of Nazareth Farm in Salem, West Virginia. I was greeted with hugs from the staff and the greeting of “welcome home” although I had never ventured this far into Appalachia before. Little did I realize that in that same parking lot, only a week later, my face would be red with tears, crying my eyes out to leave this special place. The transformation that occurred in the space of seven days has stayed with me. When I entered the door of the house, I walked under a handmade sign reading “Expect a Miracle.” I was intrigued, but did not understand how a miracle could possibly occur if you are waiting for it. The morning when I woke up, we climbed up a mountain together, and even though the view at the top was breathtakingly brilliant, I did not see a miracle anywhere. The following day my small group headed down the holler to paint a woman’s garage, and while I was inspired by her passion for new ways of tackling issues and enjoyed her delicious homemade egg salad with alfalfa sprouts, no miracle appeared for me. It wasn’t until halfway through the week, at a bonfire under a million stars that it finally crept up on me. Expecting a miracle doesn’t simply mean sitting around and waiting for one to happen to you. If you did that it could take years or even months for something resembling a miracle to stumble across your path. Rather, expecting a miracle means I have to actively look for the many, many miracles all around me. They constantly surround me, but in the high tech ferociously busy world I live in of classes, work, and other obligations, I had become too busy to see the beauty that lie right in front of me. Taking a step back into peaceful snow covered mountains and allowing myself to be surrounded by faith filled people let the beautiful miracles shine through. Although months and months have passed since my revelation under the West Virginia night sky, it has not slipped out of my mind, and I continue to be amazed by the small miracles I stumble across each day.
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