I Cannot Believe in Miracles

Such an odd thing is coincidence – when you’ve been thinking about something for awhile, pondering how to talk about it, trying to make someone UNDERSTAND where you’re coming from, thinking it might not be the time nor place – then BAM! Something comes and nudges you forward asking you to divulge these thoughts – today that something was the Daily Post.

It requests an essay on the following:

Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.

This is not a ‘first time’ – but I think it will be ok. Are you ok with that? Good – let us proceed.

So here’s the deal for those that are not familiar with my history – my son was born, he died, he was resuscitated, he lost part of his intestine, he was in the Neonatal ICU for 4 months – he’s alive and well – he was the Miracle Network Child in 2003…  My father insists that I call him ‘a miracle’

Alas – I cannot.

I cannot deny that his recovery was not amazing – a one in a million occurrence; but I cannot concede it was miraculous.   Why?  Because other babies died when were were in the NICU. Babies with parents who prayed continually for their baby to survive. People of faith – deep faith. What did they get? A funeral. I cannot believe in a God that chooses one child over another. I get particularly upset when people credit God as saving them from taking a train/plan/bus/car that crashed – yet others died.  This offends me.  I have no problem with people’s belief in God – I just cannot accept a ‘life saving miracle from the Hand of God’.

I think if I have to credit anyone with performing a ‘miracle’ – it would be all the doctors and nurses that spent countless hours with Dorian  -during surgeries, in the NICU – at our home, in their offices. And even that is not a miracle – it is them doing what they do and doing it incredibly well.

As always-  I hope I did not offend anyone – that is not my intent. I just needed to be able to say why I have a hard time believing that my son’s survival was a miracle. It’s not his survival that makes me doubt- it’s the other babies’ – the ones who didn’t get the ‘miracle’.

Please don’t hate me – maybe one day I’ll change. But for now – I have to believe that if there’s a God – it’s a God that has set us in motion but doesn’t move us around like chess pieces, doesn’t interfere with our day-to-day existence.  And I don’t judge you on your beliefs, so I hope you do not judge me upon mine.

Addendum: What I do have faith in is connections – I don’t know where they come from or how they play into the world – but I do believe in those. Too many of them in my life to disregard it as a coincidence. 

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About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Childhood, Children, Coincidence, Daily Prompt, Health, Injury, Random Thoughts, Surgery, Words and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to I Cannot Believe in Miracles

  1. Love your summation here… “I have to believe that if there’s a God – it’s a God that has set us in motion but doesn’t move us around like chess pieces, doesn’t interfere with our day-to-day existence. ” So well said.
    i definitely fall somewhere in the middle here and I try not to judge HOWEVER… most of the time devout religion in any form can get kind of offensive. I sat through Chad’s grandpa’s funeral a week and a half ago and the whole thing was not about celebrating the life of a super cool and completely amazing 83 year old man. It was about how we are all going to hell. It was all I could do not to take my kids and leave! My mom was making the crazy “is this forreal” eyes at me from across the room, and she is a Sunday school teacher!
    Anyway– your son is amazing, no matter how you slice it. And he’s a very lucky guy to have a mama like you.

  2. A very impassioned post. I appreciate your honest perspective and spiritual struggle.

    Your decision to choose to see your son’s survival as something other than a miracle rests on two assumptions which, though quite human — and one might say humane — are nonetheless somewhat flawed.

    Assumption #1 — In order for God to be both good and all-powerful, God would miraculously provide physical healing for all dying children. This rests on a flawed presumption that we, as humans, know what would be best for these children and if God does not resuscitate them, there must be something wrong with God.

    Assumption #2 — The medical staff who did promote healing for your son operated entirely on their own power, based on knowledge they accumulated on their own and technical skill they came from within.

    I propose that miracles happen everyday, often as God directs very natural events to work out for the best — not always in the way we prefer, but ultimately for Good.

    Would I say this to the parent of a child who has just died? Most likely not. As a pastor, I have conducted funerals for still-born infants, babies, and children of all ages. There is a time to speak and a time to keep silent. As the Bible says, we grieve with those who grieve (not give them lengthy theological explanations like this one.)

    In the end, though, in what we say and do, we can share the hope that this life is not all there is, creation is not a random occurrence and one day all God’s children will be united in love.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful post.

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  4. Maggie O'C says:

    Nice post. I have an unwavering faith in God but I don’t think your son’s survival is a miracle. It is because he had great doctors who knew what to do for him. Now, if he died and then just came back to life perfectly healthy with no interference from ANYONE– that I would give miracle status but I think that guy has already done the dying and coming back to life thing.

    I believe in God. A God who has given us free will and I don’t think he’s watching everyone like a hawk, as jen says…he’s not moving the chess pieces.

    I’m so happy your boy is happy and healthy today!

    • Thank you, Maggie ~ I like getting the perspective from people of faith – because I did want to express my feelings but wanted to be understood without denying anyone else’s faith.

      I think I would have had to take a harder look at what happened if he had experienced a very ‘Jesus-like’ recovery 🙂

      I am happy for his happy and his healthy!

  5. iRuniBreathe says:

    I really like your take on this because to me it makes sense. Who is to say that Dorian was hand-chosen by HIM and that it’s all a case of Russian roulette — even before/as we gestate in the womb? I believe that people have Faith and a cause, and if it serves them well it strengthens their belief. So many are left searching/wondering if things turn out for the worse.
    I believe in the power of intention and manifestation and positive. Still, I struggle with this internally a lot. Just because I want something to be a certain way doesn’t mean it will turn out so.
    So glad Dorian is with you today.

  6. MissFourEyes says:

    It’s hard to believe in God with all the bad things in the world.

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  9. Lisa says:

    You have courage & love & loyalty & talents & knowledge…… Plus more. Some people believe in miracles, I do, but I also believe in you. Thank you for questioning & standing up for your beliefs; as my dad would say “that’s what makes the world go ’round”

  10. I don’t believe that God hand picks those who will survive, and those who won’t. I do believe we all have some kind of predetermined plan, and if it’s our time to go, it’s our time to go. That belief system helps me make sense of terrible things because my mind can’t handle the idea of someone I know dying for an “accidental” reason.

    I think this is where miracles come from. When something happens that ensures our death, but somehow we pull through. I think it just means it wasn’t our time yet, and we needed to pull through no matter what.

  11. I’m not sure what I believe in, Denise, but I certainly respect your beliefs, especially after what you’ve been through. Sometimes, I think people fall back on religion as a kind of crutch, for good or for bad. I think we are in charge of our destiny, but when it comes to life and death maybe not. So like you, I believe in the connections we make with each other, as well as the random ones, and that they serve a purpose. That’s all I can make sense of at the moment.

    • Right back attcha – I might have beliefs but I have felt that I’ve been exposed to so many variations of what to believe and feel I’m open to everyone’s interpretation and as long as their beliefs don’t affect me – why would I need to feel that they are the same as mine. I’d rather have mutual respect than the same ideals.

      I think you’re right about that crutch – it’s used as that and a weapon to justify so many things – not to discount the good that faith does for people but everyone is different.

  12. SocietyRed says:

    “move us around like chess pieces” is classic! You are crystal clear.
    I’m so glad for this connection.

  13. goldfish says:

    I was the miracle baby the year I was born and I feel much the same way you do. It is one stubborn pediatrician’s fault that I am alive today. She would not let me died.

  14. Pingback: Daily Prompt: In Good Faith | Alastair's Blog

  15. Very well said. And nobody can judge your belief system….it’s yours, not theirs!

  16. A.J. Goode says:

    I agree 100%! There are people in my life who keep telling me that my surviving my car accident was a miracle — but a very kind, very religious woman died in an almost identical accident on the same road a year later. If mine was a miracle, what was hers? If it was about faith and who deserved a miracle more, then Marilyn would still be here and I would not.

    I believe in miracles, but sometimes it’s more about good doctors and plain old-fashioned good luck!

  17. Elyse says:

    My late sister was a NICU nurse. A dedicated, gentle soul. So I’m with you on a lot of this. It is the dedication of the people who worked to save your son, the medicines and equipment that helped him live. I think you’re right that God doesn’t sit up there and point and say “that one” and “not that one”.

    I work in medicine — I see hints of “miracles” every day when I see how all patients are living longer and healthier lives than they were before. I have a chronic illness that killed one of my mother’s sisters when she was 15.

    A miracle did happen, though. It came when we developed our wonderfully inventive brains that enabled us to develop art, music, writing and medicine, and the hearts to use them to help each other with those tools.

  18. I believe in your right to believe what you feel is right in your heart. Perhaps there’s a reason for Dorian’s recovery ~ perhaps he’s destined to do something so important ~ perhaps it simply wasn’t ‘his time’ ~ perhaps the doctors are so amazingly talented and his body/will so strong that between them, he survived ~ perhaps it was a miracle of sorts and perhaps it wasn’t.
    Bottom line is that he remains here on Earth with you ~ many (including you) are grateful for his recovery and health ~ may he live a long, healthy life and do good with it.
    I HEARTily agree in the amazingness of connections and coincidences.
    I appreciate your story and I love that you’ve connected with so many people through it ~ me being one of them! ♥

  19. lolabees says:

    I think you did a great job of thoughtfully expressing your thoughts on a very controversial issue without being offensive. But then again, what you said isn’t offensive to me, and you make some really great points. I personally have to question some of these beliefs too– I have a hard time believing that our/my/whoever’s God is busy making sure a football team wins the Super Bowl when he/she could be saving babies.

  20. erickeys says:

    I used to believe in God and prayer, but now I’m like you. Why does God heal some sick people and strike down healthy people? Pray for two people, one of them dies – was one of them more evil than the other? Or did he had evil family who were being punished?

    If you’re interested you can read a little about my journey here:
    and here:

    I’d love to hear what you think.

  21. I think about this stuff a lot. If there’s a God, why would He/She/It grant a miracle to one baby and not another? What would make one person “worthy” and another one not? Why would it be so random? Or maybe if there is some sort of supreme being, then they must not really intervene at all because it would make no sense for a benevolent deity to help one kid but not another. Or to allow some atrocities to continue but not others.

  22. Smaktakula says:

    Interesting point, and also kind of brave–when people disagree these days, they disagree with caps and exclamation points. In his book “Survival In Auschwitz,” Primo Levi said something very similar to your thought about the babies who DIDN’T make it. He said something to the effect that it made him angry when people attributed the divine to their survival, because by that thinking there were so many other innocents whom God didn’t see fit to spare. It really made me think.

    Having said that, I think I believe in miracles.

    • I know – I was worried about how people would respond to my post…

      I does make one think about the less fortunate that did not survive and what it all means ~

      Having said that – I respect your belief in miracles – maybe one day I’ll change – but it should not matter that we have different beliefs b/c we have mutual respect.

  23. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Also, I admit that I’ve referred to my own younger brother as a miracle child because of the life saving operations he underwent and the odds he beat as a baby. But I meant it more in terms simply of how unlikely it was, not that there was some divine hand which chose him above many others.

    He still gets punched in the arm if he’s being a smart ass lol, miracle or not 😉


  24. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Yeah, I know what you’re saying. When you think of all those who weren’t “chosen” for the miracle treatment it certainly paints God as a bit of a jerk. And I don’t think God, or the universal consciousness, or the great spirit or whatever is a jerk at all 🙂

    I think your perspective makes perfect sense and you are fully entitled to your beliefs! Dorian rocks and so do you 🙂


  25. I don’t believe in that kind of God either. I don’t think what you described is the nature of God at all but I do believe in miracles. A miracle is just an event that defies explanation (like why your son lived and other babies died). It’s a wonder that we cherish even though it doesn’t seem fair or deserved (grace). There’s so much that we don’t know about how life works. In fact, I don’t think we know a tiny sliver about how the life works! All we can do is be kind and gentle with each other and accept that life usually doesn’t make sense.

  26. twindaddy says:

    It’s hard to believe in a loving God when there is so much evil and atrocity in the world.

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  28. I totally understand where you’re coming from. I also understand that people are trying to make sense of terrible things but like you I don’t find comfort in the idea that there’s a grand plan that makes terrible things happen.

  29. I feel exactly the same way. That is why I can’t believe in God and miracles. I would like to – I think it might make my life easier. But I can’t get past the fact that children and babies and other undeserving people die. I can’t get past the fact that at any point, I might lose one of my babies to some tragedy I can’t control. That I might not live to see my children grow up because I’ve seen other mothers face that terrible fate. But for the grace of God go I . . . but such a fleeting grace, isn’t it?

  30. Anita says:

    The doctors did all they could…it was out of their hands. Then four grandparents, a mother and one priest cuddled close to the bassinet of the baby and the priest prayed over the baby and gave him his last rites. A few hours later the baby makes a miraculous turn for the better and from that day on he recovered little by little….. a miracle from God. I’d like to believe so. Why….don’t know. But are thankful that my Grandchild was one of the babies that was picked to live and I do believe that perhaps it was so that he could achieve great things in his life and also to test the strength of his parents to lead to that path.

  31. Tez says:

    I agree with you about miracles and am offended when people claim something is miraculous. It is insulting to mine and their intelligence. There’s an eCard that reads: Western “… democracy: Where religious backed ignorance is considered superior to science, history, psychology, math, economics, and common sense.” (actually it reads, “American democracy …” but I assert it applies to every country in the Western world, including my own.) If anyone is offended by my view, then I am very sorry, for them.

  32. El Guapo says:

    My thoughts on god go along the same lines as yours, but over a wider area.

    If I’m wrong, I’m gonna feel awfully silly when I die…

  33. TammyeHoney says:

    Keep the faith. Thank you for sharing with your readers and for the reference.

  34. The Hook says:

    I love you for who you are. Don’t ever change.

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