There is nothing more depressing than watching a child lose their wonder: Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy… and yes, Leprechauns.
This past St. Patricks Day… early in the morning… I was warned by my wife that our daughter might be getting past the age of believing in those little green mischeif-makers. What was worse, she added, our son was right at the age in which leprechauns were most certainly real. I began the day with worry… would she spoil it all for her younger brother.
Late that afternoon, as we were driving home from school, little brother was making all kinds of plans for building a leprechaun trap. He was going to turn a shoe box into a trap, bait it with a picture of a pot of gold, and when the leprechaun came, it would trip the trigger and the box would fall… making the leprechaun a prisoner. Sister listened… rolling her eyes… trying to keep obvious frustrations and criticisms to herself… biting her lip. Finally, she blurted out, “This is stupid… just stop talking”. My heart sank. I waited for the kill shot… the bubble burst… the revelation. She continued passionately, “if you don’t stop talking, the leprechauns will hear you… and they will never fall into the trap”. And no… she wasn’t just humoring him. She still believed.
Do you still believe? No, not in leprechauns or Santa Claus… but in wonders and the extraordinary?
It has always been a hallmark of the world of faith that things happen which cannot be explained. People do things that are seemingly impossible. In our Acts 6 verse for today we read about Stephen… and all we know about him was that:
Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
Of course this reputation of his led to some big problems… and also some great opportunities to speak of the great things of God (read Chapters 6 & 7) for the full story.
But, as works in progress, I want to hold on to the hope that there are wonders on the horizons of each of our lives. We get caught up in the stereotypes of magic wands, leprechauns, and miracles and forget that every moment holds opportunity for surprise, change, improvement, and opportunity. Of course, these are not miraculous words… and I would never discount the possibility of something truly extraordinary happening. But, for most of us, the closest we will ever get to the miraculous is holding on to the hope that today has its own ‘magic’ for us. That there is something we cannot yet even conceive… hidden by God… just waiting to stand out as a wonder and a sign for us.