Thursday, March 17, 2011

Stories II

A sort of retraction from a previous post on the "Small Miracles" series and how I love the series. I do. But the love is tainted by the realisation that, however many such books may exist with however many such stories - the total numbers of people involved in them is statistically and literally a drop in the bucket compared with the vast, vast multitudes for whom such stories do not occur. Such stories may speak strongly and cling to you when someone is there before you, recounting it, or when you can read the story again and again in a book or hear it from the same person.

This especially struck me regarding the volume I'd read on "Small Miracles" and The Holocaust. The story told "again and again" not by the same person, by the vast numbers of those who did not survive, of those who survived spiritually, physically emotionally crippled - is simply not one of miracles of any proportion. There is simply no comparison possible, however many "miracles", to the millions who died, to the millions for whom miracles did not exist. The response could be that the handful of stories really explain how the world works - but the rebuttal to that is that they're the exceptions that prove the exceptional situation of each one of them - comparing a handful of stories to millions murdered?...victims who in their measured, processed systematized deaths, proved the rule of Rule - not the rule of miraculous exceptions.

This cannot but apply across human history - across tragedy, triumph and the billions of hours, minutes and seconds of billions of human lifetimes. Coincidences are coincidences - and given the huge proportion of humans, and the lives they've lived and lost - I cannot but feel that coincidences are what these stories amount to for me, however each me be a miracle, in some way known and measurable only to God. This I cannot dislodge from my mind. It's almost where miracles require the lab setting, the holy site or the holy person around which they transpire with a noteworthy, statistically-significant regularity - or they amount to jus so much coincidence for me.


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