Well, I made it through book one! I have no idea if these short devotional things I’ve been doing with the issues make any sense at all to someone who hasn’t read it. But there’s not really a great way I’ve found to summarize better without taking tons of pictures and at that point you might as well just grab the book and read it yourself. So hey! If you have liked these and think you might want to know more, grab the book and read it yourself! Maybe ask your local library to stock it so more people can read it, but I don’t really know how that works.
In this scene, shortly after probably the darkest and saddest thing that has happened to this point in the story, we see Laura perform a mini miracle. For those not following along, Laura is sort of an audience insert, a fan who already knows the world we’re being shown but who is also sort of watching from the outside, much like us. Close to the divine characters in the story, but not really one of them.
Lucifer promised her a reward and tossed her the pack of cigarettes she’d been smoking. With this one last cigarette left, Laura thinks of Lucifer, snaps her fingers like the Pantheon does when performing miracles, and is completely astonished to see the cigarette light up in response. The reader doesn’t know what it means yet, and neither does Laura. We have ideas, maybe. But all we know for sure is, as Laura says on the next page, “it’s not over.”
That spark reminds me of this panel I talked about earlier, and also of Mark 6 in the Bible. That is one of my favorite passages, and the only one I actually remember using for a sermon during my seminary work. I like that it starts by stating that Jesus “could do no miracle” (apart from healing people, NBD) in his hometown since no one took him seriously. And I love that what immediately follows it is Jesus sending his disciples off in pairs without him and they do miracles all on their own. It’s not about him doing miracles, it’s about the way he inspires and empowers others to do amazing things. That’s what makes his work meaningful.
There’s hope here, that even when everything seems empty and meaningless and we can’t see the work of God (or whatever the divine/universe/life/spirit looks like to you…I think I’ll do a post about naming the Divine soon), she’s working in us. That emptiness may be the result of our knowing that things aren’t right, our longing for them to be better. It might be the first step in making them better.
The world’s far from perfect, and unfortunately we can’t actually fix it (or even do tiny miracles) by snapping our fingers. But a lot of times we can do more than we think. My hope for all of us is that we hold onto that hope and let it inspire us to attempt the impossible. We might just be shocked at what we can do when we work together and have some faith.