We who lived in concentration camps can remember the people who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. . . . Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (Beacon Press: 1959, 2006), 65–67, 112.
Viktor Frankl endured and survived a holocaust camp. Death abounded, hope eroded. And yet a tiny sliver of magnanimous inspiration was present to keep self and others persevering. Persevering to life. Persevering to hope. Persevering to love.
This inspiration and perseverance is miraculous. Is the miraculous built into our beings? Does the miraculous visit rather than reside within? Is our drive for life strong enough to keep us going? At what point do we quit and release our life energy? At what point do we say NO, I want to live, I’ll persevere?
We are made in God’s image, so much so that heaven does a double-take when they see us… is that God? oh wait, that’s Donna! Or for me personally, that’s Lisa! I often do a double-take in Lisa’s presence… God or Lisa? But really, each of us are God’s image. God is innately, completely miraculous. Me? I beg for miracles, I seek the miraculous, and I am a living miracle: I am persevering, I am hoping. And yet, I am an image only, of a miraculous God.
Death for me is not the heinousness of the holocaust. Those beings who were pushed down that dark, dark valley are sacredly to be honored and remembered. Death for me, in it’s minute comparison, is defeating. Even with the comforts of my modern life, love of family and friends, I have been defeated and wanted to quit. The death of Randy has undone me… wholly, inside, outside, and all between. Mine is a small loss in the vast, gaping hole of loss in our world. Yet, for this one being, this one small loss is the greatest loss. Shall I recover? Maybe not… I’ll never be the person I used to be.
And yet, I think of those who gave away smiles and bread and comfort in the camps. May the miraculous grow me beyond this pain, expand me beyond this self absorption, so that I may see YOU, His miraculous image…
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