A stomachache turned into an urgent care visit turned into a race to the hospital turned into emergency appendix-removal surgery for my son one Friday night last spring. About 20 sleepless and stressful hours later that included missing a funeral at which I was supposed to read (add guilt to the mix), I found myself at the pharmacy; not the one closest to my house, but one where I'd seen previous random acts of kindness. That was important.
I stood in the typical Saturday line and waited my turn and the pharmacist took the scripts from me without looking up. "About 20 minutes," he said, and then glanced at my eyes. "You know what? Hang on a second." And he walked into the rows of shelves, poured pills into bottles, scanned labels, and gave me the meds--90 seconds, max. "I hope you have a quiet night."
That was a miracle. I hadn't said a word.
I've been thinking a lot about the posts we've all seen asking people to choose three words for the year (can't help it--picking words is in my job description). Pick three words as a sort of mantra and then resolve to live them for 365 days. And after more than a reasonable amount of consideration, I chose. From a Jim Carrey movie, of all things.
Bruce Almighty is the story of a man who feels cursed--personally smited--by a God he's not so sure he even believes in. When he challenges God to bring it on, Morgan Freeman shows up and does just that, giving Bruce almighty powers to do whatever he wants. And then God goes on vacation.
Things don't really go as planned from there (it's a Jim Carrey movie, y'all), but one of the last scenes has stuck with me since I saw it more than a decade ago. "Parting your soup isn't a miracle, Bruce," says God. "It's a magic trick." And then he defines real miracles, sort of explains the notion of free will and choices, and leaves Bruce with a charge: Be the miracle.
I've often thought it would make for a good T-shirt or nonprofit campaign. And "Be the Miracle" is my three-word choice for the year, understanding that a miracle can be anything that changes someone's life--which in most cases, is just changing someone's day. It's holding the door for the person behind me or opening it for the person in front of me. It's speaking kindly. Maybe it's driving an extra kid home or looking out for a lost dog or just smiling at the right moment (which could be any moment, almost). Taking a breath instead of snapping at someone; taking an extra minute to think about where they're coming from, even when (especially when) they're not being quite so miraculous themselves. It's toning down my negative kneejerk reactions and ramping up the positive ones. Which is going to be a conscious effort and, I'll admit, a challenge.
So those are the words and this is the clip and now it's out there as my resolution. Be the Miracle. Tiny little things that might add up, maybe even in 90 seconds at the pharmacy. Would love to hear your three words if you have them. Happy new year, friends.