The widow then saw said to Elijah, “You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!” – 1 Kings 17:18 (NRSV)
I experienced a miracle recently. A friend came to visit, and after a while, pulled me aside and called it like it is and said: I am watching you disappear from yourself. And she was right. I was disappearing from myself as my sense of confidence in the future was waning.
But the fact that I can say “was” is one of the greatest miracles of my life.
Which takes me to this text. The widow’s child became ill. Was lifeless. And the widow blamed herself. She thought that the child was suffering because of her sins. She thought the prophet was there in mocking retribution. That she deserved the suffering of loss because she’d done something wrong.
Sounds ridiculous, no?
Unless that’s ever been you.
Have you never wondered if something that’s not right is the divine repaying you for a misdeed? Have you never thought that your hardships are your own fault? Have you never believed that you were unworthy of true joy? Of love? Of comfort? Have you never thought you were too unattractive, too broken, too unprepared, too messy, too damaged, too poor, too mentally ill, too … anything, really … to be loved?
But let me tell you something:
There is no causal link between whatever you have done or thought or might do or think … and the miracles God has in store for you.
Listen. I don’t think the widow needed Elijah to perform the miracle. I think the widow needed Elijah to show her that miracles are possible—even for her. To understand that she wasn’t too broken to offer the blessing her child needed.
The same is true for you.
Miracles aren’t about some magic. They’re about God connecting with the spark of the Holy Spirit within you to breathe new life.
You or someone you know may be spiritually lifeless, too. And if that’s you? Hear your official invitation to move past this blame that doesn’t serve you.
And stretch into the miracle that is ready and waiting.
O God, may my breath return? May I feel worthy of everlasting joy? May I receive your miracles, now and forever? Amen.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.