they happen all around us
each and every day
For eight nights of Chanukah, we say a blessing when lighting the Chanukah candles:
Blessed are you, Our God, Ruler of the Universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days, in this time.
The blessing looks backward, as you might expect: acknowledging the miracle that happened in “those days” — the 2nd century, B.C., when the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days happened.
Yet it also looks to the present: in this time. This blessing reminds us that miracles are not just things that happened in an ancient world. They happen today, in our time, in our lives.
You don’t need to look far. Consider the workings of the human body. Your heart beats, your organs do their jobs, an entire system of systems functions without your conscious involvement.
You breathe without thinking about it. Each breath is a miracle.
Every step your body takes is a miracle.
When you get a cut, your wound heals on it’s own. The skin repairs itself. That’s a miracle.
We often don’t think about the various things we do during the day that put us at risk of harm. Stepping outside. Crossing the street.
Getting into a car and driving somewhere. Sometimes staying in your house.
It’s only when something happens in the course of our day, or we hear about someone else barely surviving an incident — or not — that reminds us of the inherent dangers of living do we realize that making it through the day unharmed is itself a miracle.
The week of Chanukah is an invitation to remember that miracles abound. Each moment is a miracle. Watching the flames flicker on the candles, we can pause to breathe and remember.