Patricia Hofer

Miracles and Christianity

GOD GAVE THE GIRAFFE A LONG NECK SO THAT HE WOULD NOT HAVE TO BEND THE PALM TREE. The word He is capitalized in this Arab proverb. That’s important. God’s omnipotence doesn’t lend itself to bending a tree every time a giraffe wants to take a bite!

Addressing the idea of miracles and divine intervention in Problem of Pain, Lewis wrote: “That God can and does, on occasions, modify the behavior of matter and produce what we call miracles, is part of Christian faith; but the very conception of a common, and therefore stable, world, demands that these occasions should be extremely rare” (25).

And yet, my experience is that divine intervention is not as rare as Lewis thinks it is. From moment to moment, thought by thought, Christ touches and regenerates human hearts, making God’s will done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). And here and there, not for our purposes but for His purpose, God does indeed “bend the palm tree.” (Turning Aside to See 136)

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