A Sneeze Miracle

Occasionally, the world will bless you with something I call a ‘sneeze miracle’. It’s the whole ‘achooo!’ ‘bless you’ phenomenon, where you are given the simple miracle of one’s blessing without asking and without really expecting. It just comes.

A sneeze miracle, then, is that idea on a larger scale. It’s the stranger that pays for your gas, your meal, your groceries. It’s the guy that picks up your $20 bill and returns it to you. It’s the wallet you receive in the mail with all your credit cards and coupons and cash intact because that person was just inherently good. And it’s the moments that you don’t expect, where your faith in humanity is once again restored. Sneeze miracles: unwarranted, unexpected ‘bless yous’.

When these little moments happen, you’re left speechless. Half the time you can’t chase that person down and thank them, even though that’s all you want to do. But that’s how they wanted it. To slip out, to keep you from noticing. It makes it about the act rather than the person. They felt compelled for some reason or by some higher power to do whatever they did and so they flee, acknowledging that it was never really them, but rather that feeling, or that god.

So how do you thank a stranger for something? For a gift small or thoughtful or noble or monumental or all of the above type of gift? Sometimes you can’t, so you thank God. You close your eyes for a moment, you accept the gift, you send a prayerful thanks, and you continue on. Planning for when you can make a sneeze miracle happen for someone else.

Or you find that person. And you tell them. And though words can’t fill the space or even measure up sometimes to the true significance of what they did, you thank them anyways. And you give back to them by giving the world some ‘bless yous’ that it so desperately needs. A cycle of sneeze miracles. A sickness, if you will.