I believe in coincidence.  I am not one of those people who believe that everything—every single thing—is because God ordained it to be that way.  Agency matters.  Chance happens.  Randomness—it’s an awkward word but a real phenomenon.  I believe that, among other things, God is a god of statistical probabilities.  He may be able to play with loaded dice, but those certainly aren’t the only dice He’s got lying around.

That being said, I’m facing a week (or two) in which I’m going to need some help to get done all the stuff that needs getting done.  By “some help,” I mean, of course, a miracle.  Miracles.  This is my logic:

If miracles occur, I could get done all I need to this week.
If miracles do not occur, I will not get done all I need to this week.
Ergo, it would be really great if miracles could occur.

Fortunately, despite being a person of logical sensibilities, I believe in miracles.  I do recognize that sometimes what we call a miracle is really just a nice turn of the regular old dice.  (Agency, chance, etc.)  But maybe five times in my life, I’ve had an experience when I knew I’d honest-to-goodness just seen God bend or break the seemingly immutable laws of physics or time on my behalf.

Once I prayed for a needle.  “Oh, Heavenly Father,” I said.  “I really want to wear this shirt to my meeting with the graduate advisor.  But it’s missing a button.  Wilt thou please help me find a needle in this house that my friends have so kindly let me stay in?  I’ve looked everywhere—everywhere—four times, and I really need a needle.  Just one needle.  Please?  Please?  Amen.”

And I stood up, walked to the doorway, which I’d passed through maybe eight times that morning, opened the door, and saw lying on the carpet—right on top of the fuzzy peach carpet—one shiny silver needle.  As if it had been placed there just for me.  I was taken aback.  I literally put my hand on my heart, stunned by the majesty of this small moment.  Until I realized that the needle was the biggest one I had ever seen.  And that there was no way that it was going to go through my button.  Oh, Heaven.  Way to give me a miracle and get a laugh at the same time.

So this week, as I’m praying for miracles and asking for Heaven to bend the seemingly immutable laws of physics and time on my behalf, I will also be praying that God will interpret my prayers generously.  Dear Heaven, please use the helpful loaded dice.  Amen.