On September 27, 2006, a gunman walked into Platte Canyon High School and took seven girls hostage after several terror filled hours, the police finally stormed the room where the remaining two girls were still being held and Emily Keyes was shot and killed. Emily, who had relayed messages from the gunman to the police through the barricaded door. Emily, who as one of her last acts, texted her parents to say “I Love U Guys.” Her father didn’t even know how to open a text had to have someone among the crowd that had gathered along the streets of Bailey, CO do it for him. Emily’s death and heroism was overshadowed the next week when another gunman walked into a small Amish school and shot ten little girls, killing five. Emily was all but forgotten except in the small mountain villages that dwell in the Platte Canyon and all of us that were praying for a miracle that day. The miracle we were praying for didn’t happen and most of us questioned, “Why would God let this happen?” We didn’t know what to do with our anger and disillusionment, but Emily’s parents did. They took that last heroic message of love from Emily and started the I Love U Guys foundation and they have devoted their life (I think I read that they sold their house) to making schools safer for everybody’ else’s children. Their mission statement is simple, “ The "I Love U Guys" Foundation was created to restore and protect the joy of youth through educational programs and positive actions in collaboration with families, schools, communities, organizations and government entities.” The Standard Response Protocol that the foundation developed has been introduced in several schools in several states. All because one terrified young girl who didn’t know what her fate was going to be made the heroic effort to leave her parents with a message of love. Emily Keyes is a miracle worker. Her parents continued the magic by not letting their grief and anger destroy her miracle. And the miracle keeps growing and becoming more powerful with every child it touches.
AA has a saying, “Wait for the miracles.” I love that saying, it might be the one saying that really caught me, held me, and made me want sobriety more than anything. I don’t believe you have to believe in a Higher Power to believe in miracles, there are miracles of science, miracles of nature and there are miracles of people, miracles of us. As a matter of fact, I think to believe that God can cause a miracle only leads to disappointment and bitterness and loss of hope. Instead I believe it is in us, this power to create miracles. We are the magicians. With a smile, or a phone call, or a hug we send out the magic spell that ensnares and enchants others and that small miracle grows and transforms and it never dies. And somewhere down the chain that miracle circles back to us and we don’t even recognize it, we certainly have no idea that it originated with us.
Alcohol took my power away from me and I tried to pull loose from the chain of miracles. I was the weak link and because I was unable to “cast” many miracles, fewer came back to me. If they did work their way down the chain to me, I felt I was undeserving and I refused the miracles and kept them from growing and spreading. I not only deprived my loved ones of my miracles but I deprived the world of its full share of magic.
Now, with my power restored, I am sending out my miracles as fast as I can, a phone call here, an email there, an “I Love U Guys” everywhere and I’m joyfully reaping the dividends of my investment. My miracles come back to me in many forms, a fb message from one of my sons saying, I love you, Mom. Thanks for everything you’ve done for me,” a phone call from a friend saying she misses me, a warm smile from a stranger. They may be insignificant, common place miracles to others but they are momentous to me. I plan on reinvesting them and watching them grow and turn into something magical. I’ll never know who will experience the magic of my miracles or what many forms they will take but that’s okay, I’ll keep making them anyway.
We have no idea of the power we have, the magic we can make. What miracles have you “cast” lately, what miracles have come back to you? Get busy! The world needs all the magic we can cast upon it .
So today I’m just out there doing my best to conjure up some new miracles and enjoy the miracle of each snowflake that dances down upon my deck.