It happens every year about this time. The jumble of boxes and bins emerges from storage, and out come lights and stockings
and decorations of all kinds. And the mug. It’s a plain-looking mug with a delicate angel painted on, but it bears a message that
never fails to provoke a behavioral response in me: “Don’t Waste the Miracle.”
Each year it causes me to pause and think about this life that I’ve been given, about
what a true miracle it is, even in its ragged condition. I theorize that, since I do have life
and it is a marvel, and I also have ailments of many kinds, then the miracle of life isn’t
about perfection or wholeness or wellness. The realization that I’ve come to is this: the
simple thing I have—my life/my heart/my love—is given to me so I might give it to
others. So I, who carry such a precious wonder, have a responsibility to share and
not squander it, despite the fear and cynicism that this chronic illness brings.
Even through the bad days and the slightly less bad days, I think it’s important to
bestow encouragement or at least, a bit of civility, to others. Is it easy? Not usually.
But anything worthwhile is never easy.
If I could, I would give a cup like mine to each of you this season. Maybe its message
would prompt some marvelous acts of kindness that would bring this rough year to
a gentle close.
[This was originally printed in the Multiple Sclerosis Resources of CNY newsletter recently. See
address on sidebar.]