We've lived in this house for eight years and I've never been in the attic. I suppose if I had to give a reason for this, I'd say because it's where dead things are buried. Things that we no longer use. The plastic coffin of baby Avonlea's stuffed lambies. Bins labeled "nostalgic" that no one will ever look in till I'm dead and their only comments will be, "why in the world was this nostalgic?" They won't know the story that consecrated it. But mostly, I think of the tombs of yearbooks, newspaper clippings, and journals of a girl that's long been laid to rest.
But Wednesday night it happened. Dave and all the kids were up there organizing Christmas stuff and I stifled my morbidness and climbed the ladder. I saw the relics of other houses; stools, pictures, and tables. I saw all the bins of clothes, some to my horror, mislabeled. And there, appropriately in the corner, were.....the remains. With much fear and trembling I took two boxes down with me. Avonlea and Grant were interested and I was curious myself, was I really as bad as I remembered?
I showed them my few childhood treasures, things that evoked all kinds of memories. Trophies, medals, banners, things that had stories dripping off them. I told what I could. Then it was bedtime and Dave put them down so I could finish the raiding. I read some journals, letters, poetry, and even college papers. I winced, I choked back tears for this wayward sinful child. I made the decision to cremate the remains.
The next day I was on the treadmill, walking briskly towards a new year's resolution. I was reading C.S. Lewis' Miracles. This book works out my brain while the treadmill works my body. Lewis was trying to differentiate between what our imagination conjures up and what our mind knows. For instance, if you were to say "attic" to me, I'd see my stack of journals and waylaid trophies. However, mentally, I'd know this wasn't the definition of "attic". An attic is a storage area under the eaves that is usually unfinished and primitive. We do this all the time. If we're not thinking critically we can mistake the image in our head for the actual definition.
People do this with miracles. They hear the word and get a mental image of Jesus raising Lazarus or feeding the 5,000 or something similar during his earthly ministry. Or perhaps Noah's ark or Jonah's aquatic adventures come into our minds. These were absolutely miracles....but those aren't the definition of miracle, just examples. Lewis defines a miracle as, "an interference with nature by a supernatural power."
It hit me last night as I walked by the boxes, stacked, ready to be taken back up to the crypt.
I am a miracle!
God interfered with the natural way my life was headed by supernatural power. I am miraculously saved by His grace! That corpse of my old life lay there because of His supernatural interference in my life. When I think critically, guided by the definition of miracles, I can see them all around me. The changed lives of my friends, my husband, my children. The altered outcomes of anxious situations. Things that in all rights should have ended tragically, but ended joyfully. Miracles!
I see many more trips to the attic in my future. There is much that needs to be sorted and weeded out and I am not afraid to do it. I am a new creation cleaning out the old cocoon and thanking God for resurrection!
"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus." Romans 6:11