ESSAY

Week 1

Small Miracles

by Jason, CLF member incarcerated in Florida

Miracles. Everybody always gets so worked up over that word. But you only ever hear about these strange, over-the-top things, like a bleeding crucifix, or a statue of the Virgin Mary that cries, or the mysterious remission of cancer in Great Aunt Sally.

Nobody ever really talks about the little miracles that happen every day. The couple that tried for years to have a baby, and suddenly are expecting. The child that spent his whole ten years of life in the foster system, now getting adopted. The stranger who helps the homeless. Or even the first cry of a newborn.

All of these—each and every one—are miracles at least as precious as those founded in a particular faith, and are just as worthy of our awe and recognition.

So, what miracles have you witnessed today?

 

On Miracles

by Lindsay, CLF incarcerated member

With a professional background in science, I examine phenomena with critical thinking and a scrupulous eye. I am highly skeptical of the religious definition of miracles. Instead, I define a miracle as something that is an anomaly, an exception to the rule, the unexpected reaction to a course of events that shouldn’t have happened. It’s the underdog, the luck, the unexplained outcome. It therefore ought to be recognized with gratitude, humility, and awe.

When I came to prison, I was warned of the dangers of developing a criminal mentality. As I adjusted to this life, I was weary of my heart hardening. I was afraid that I would transform into a lesser version of myself.

A miracle happened instead.

In the past year, I have strengthened my relationships with my spouse and family through written correspondence. I have enjoyed a deeper literary experience by sharing book groups with my family members! I have learned new ways to show my spouse and daughter how much I love them. I created a process to forgive, and I actually forgave. I find beauty in each day. I find gratitude.

In short, coming to prison created an opportunity for my life to fill with miracles. Against all odds, in spite of what should have happened, I have grown into a better version of myself because of prison. That is a miracle