Published in the Courier Mail 4 August 04
SO THE weeping statue may not have been weeping after all. It may have just been leaking.
I must confess, and this may seem strange coming from a pastor, but I really had little interest in what the statue did. I was more interested in people’s reactions to the findings of the investigation than the findings themselves.
This wasn’t because I wanted any deception covered up, but simply because my personal faith is not based upon whether a statue weeps or bleeds.
Ironically, those who are eager to deny the existence of God are often more interested in the results of such events than those who may appear to have something at stake if a hoax is discovered.
There’s the question of the money of course. While we all agree that taking money by deception is wrong, I don’t know if that even occurred. If grown adults like what they see, why can’t they willingly throw money at it? Where’s the crime in that? It happens every day in casinos and bars around the nation. And I’m sure very little of that goes to charity.
It’s just that one statue in Inala doesn’t make much difference to me — not when I am surrounded by miracles every day.
Miracles, or wonder-causing events of divine origin, hold a fascination for us exactly because they speak of the divine. They hint at an intersection of the affairs of God and the affairs of men. This is precisely why talk of miracles sometimes stirs up scarcely concealed feelings of panic, dressed up as intellectual contempt.
For were there to be a God, and were He to be involved in some way in our lives, much of what we hold to so tightly would be threatened. So we try to rationalise away any talk of a supernatural and personal God. For goodness sake, this is the 21st century after all.
No one can convince another of the existence of God, nor should we try to. For God, if He is who Christianity says he is, is capable of displaying His own reality to those who are looking for Him.
Sometimes we don’t see miracles because we are not looking for them, or we are looking for them dressed another way. We expect to see blinding flashes of light, or hear voices from heaven (which both have biblical precedents) but fail to recognise the miracles around us.
Have you ever marvelled at the miracle of birth? It holds constant wonder — that out of a physical act comes a brand new life, with all the potential and destiny to change the world.
Then there is the miracle of love. Have you ever stopped to consider just how amazing that is — the ability and choice of the human heart to love again and again, through disappointment, discouragement and setback?
Each day, I speak to people who are miracles. They are people whose sense of self, damaged by an emotionally empty or abusive background, is being restored through the discovery of a love that some would describe only as divine. Those who were once downcast start to radiate confidence, hope and joy and, in doing so, become different people. To me, this is one of the greatest miracles of all.
We must each decide for ourselves what our spiritual convictions are. And we have a duty to search for truth in every experience. But to let one hoax lead us to conclude that miracles do not occur is perhaps a greater tragedy than believing a statue really did weep.