How does one describe the impossible to a child? Dad, when I was very young, used the phrase “it’s magic”. You always knew there was more to it, but you played along anyways. It was as if one wanted to believe that magic was possible in a world were pain, harsh realities, and fear often dominated. Magic could solve any problem. Magic was never limited to the physical realm of possibilities. Anything was possible! It just took imagination and magic.
Even as I write these words I remember the conversation on the way home in the car. My younger brother was eight or nine at the time. In the darkness of late night on a rural road in Bangalore, he was amazed at the ways animals and bullock carts became visible just when they needed to be. As if on cue, light appeared and my dad responded by flicking the steering wheel left or right to avoid the obstacle. When he asked why, the answer was always “magic”.
“It can’t be magic. You must be doing something.”
“No, it’s magic. Magic allows us to know when we need to know!”
“You are doing something.”
“Do you see me doing anything? It’s magic, just admit it.”
“I do not believe you. You must be doing something.”
“If you say the magic words, the light will appear, even if it doesn’t need to.”
The game went on and on. It was fun. Dad tapping the dimmer switch on and off, his foot’s movement was out of sight in the darkness. My brother lost in the moment, trying to figure out how the magic worked so brilliantly.
I wonder if I am in his shoes as I watch the beauty of a sunrise. Is God giving me hope through something that naturally repeats? Does hope come “riding a winged creature, swift on wind-wings?” (Psalm 18.10) Is it magic?
We did not solve the riddle that night. It did not make any difference. The “magic” of that night let us see what we could not. Today’s dawn brings new magic.