Is “Miracle” Really The Best Word?

Imagine you’re a local graphic artist. A fairly successful one. You’re driving along in your new Lexus. As you roll through downtown Shreveport, you drive by the First Methodist Church. On top of that Church is a huge steeple, one they only put up about a decade ago and that cost who knows how much money. Next thing you know, you are trapped in your car, which was crushed when the steeple fell off the church.

You are now out a car, several days of your life while you are in the hospital, and a few fingers, too. Which is a really bad thing if you’re an artist. The church, of course, is now out a steeple.

I can think of a lot of words I would use in that situation. Most of the local coverage has repeatedly used the word “miracle.” What they mean is that it’s a miracle the guy lived. But if you’re going to invoke the divine for the result, don’t you have to invoke it for the causes, too? Sure, the odds of surviving being struck by a falling steeple are so small that it seems like a miracle. But by that logic, being struck by a steeple itself is even more “miraculous.” The odds of the accident even happening are at least as long as those of surviving it. So if your only criteria for labelling something a miracle is that the thing occurred against long odds, then the accident was just as much a miracle as escaping it alive. And if both of these events were miraculous, then the author is a little sadistic.


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4 Comments on “Is “Miracle” Really The Best Word?”

  1. Jim Says:

    That’s the second time that steeple has come down in a tornado. When I was a kid, that church didn’t have a steeple, just a cross, relatively small where the steeple now stands (or doesn’t). Maybe they should go back to a cross.

  2. Jim Says:

    Tried my best to find a picture, but did find this: The steeple was added in 1972 to replace the neon cross that had formerly topped the church, and the style changed from Greek Classical to Colonial.
    Sorry, I get a bit obsessive at times . .

  3. wheeler Says:

    i thought i remembered that thing having fallen at some time in the past.

  4. draftsonyou Says:

    I am on the floor! This is easily one of the funniest commentaries ever! I am inventing a new word for your writing style: “Sarconic”, or is it “Ironastic”, Deductive Reasoning.

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