Who or What is Your Miracle Worker?

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”
Jeremiah 32:27

I recently caught the 1960 Academy Award winning film, “The Miracle Worker.” It portrays the relationship of Helen Keller and that of her groundbreaking teacher, Annie Sullivan.

Most of us know the basics to the story. Helen Keller was blind, deaf and mute and, before Sullivan’s arrival, seemingly hopeless in her circumstances. If she could not see, hear or speak, how could she ever communicate, let alone, live in the world?

The situation looked bleak.

That was until Sullivan’s arrival…

Anne Sullivan arrived at Keller’s house in March 1887, and immediately began to teach Helen to communicate by spelling words into her hand, beginning with “d-o-l-l” for the doll that she had brought Keller as a present. Keller was frustrated, at first, because she did not understand that every object had a word uniquely identifying it. In fact, when Sullivan was trying to teach Keller the word for “mug”, Keller became so frustrated she broke the mug. Keller’s big breakthrough in communication came the next month, when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on the palm of her hand, while running cool water over her other hand, symbolized the idea of “water”; she then nearly exhausted Sullivan demanding the names of all the other familiar objects in her world.

Determined to communicate with others as conventionally as possible, Keller learned to speak, and spent much of her life giving speeches and lectures. She learned to “hear” people’s speech by reading their lips with her hands — her sense of touch had become extremely subtle. She became proficient at using braille and reading sign language with her hands as well… Helen Keller also wrote 12 published books and several articles in her life. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Keller

Learning about this extraordinary account of human potential certainly challenges us to examine what is possible for our own lives. And that includes our recovery.

This is no small matter.

Many of us, after all, feel the limitations of our addictions and the ongoing healing process concerning them. It can be discouraging to fully believe and apply how extraordinary things can occur, especially if we’re just trying to take it “one day at a time” and survive.

Yet, Keller and Sullivan should remind us of the reality of our own original “Miracle Worker…”

The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.'” John 3:2

Then said they unto him, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said unto them, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:28-29

Scripture underscores the Divine intervention, “higher power” and surrender principles of the Twelve Steps.

For it is not solely up to us to determine our life outcome (thank God for that)! We are, therefore, in the role of Helen Keller to God’s Annie Sullivan.

Indeed, if it were not for Sullivan, Keller would not have achieved the same seemingly “impossible” results of communication and personal development.

But Sullivan’s presence and intervention facilitated extraordinary feats which challenged the so-called “hopeless” reality of the young girl’s deaf, blind and mute reality.

Upon reading this incredible historical account, it is more difficult for us, therefore, to remain in our own self-pity and powerless perspectives…

“I felt sorry for myself for having no moccasins until I met a man who had no feet.”
~Native American Proverb

If Keller could overcome her dire circumstances, shouldn’t we be able to overcome ours?

I know, I know. Addiction and recovery are difficult and painful; they cannot be treated with naïve Pollyanna platitudes.

Yet, it needs to be acknowledged how that argument should, in no way, cancel the power possibility, in the Hand of the Most High God, carries concerning our lives.

Our recovery is not solely upon us; neither, is it solely up to God. It is a joint venture.

And, make no mistake about it, yes, it IS work, powerful, redemptive, miracle and possibility-opening work, should we choose to embrace it as such!

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12

So, we need to ask a question: Who/What is our miracle worker right now?

Our answer makes all the difference.

Simplified, it can, perhaps, best be described as one of three different options:

    1) There is no such thing as a “miracle worker.”
    2) It is found in our addiction, compulsion or chosen “God substitute.”
    3) It is found in God, through the relevant example of our teacher, Jesus.

Which option do we choose?


“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12