The Practice of Care
I once worked with an elderly gentleman who had been deeply affected by a stroke. When I met him he was depressed and sat all day watching the television set. Day by day I encouraged effort to work at strengthening his remaining physical and mental resources. At one point he told me I was nothing but an old midwife; "With you its always push, push, push." This pushing let him come out of his depression and begin living life. I helped him work in his garden, got him involved with a stroke club, and going out for regular walks around the neighbourhood. One year later I heard from a family member who had attended a wedding in the company of the old fellow. She told me that all who knew him spoke of the change in is life as a miracle. This not as a divine act but as the end result of compassionate care. That is how I see the miracles of Jesus. Folks limited by disabilities of one kind or another, leading to the sense that life was meaningless and purposeless. I see Jesus as a compassionate person who helped others overcome the limitations of their experience and recover the fulness of life. This even though the disabilities may not have been significantly altered. I have no confidence in the interventions of a supernatural being in the sky.