From the New York Times. The way the story is told is actually quite good and a well placed point. You should read it. The author talks about miracles. Not the burning bush kind, but the kind that saves a child and gives a football fan something greater than tactics and talent to hang onto.
In that light, Tebow has to play again, if not in New York, then somewhere. Not because it would be good for the Jets or good for the fans or good for football, but because of what he has come to represent (to me at least): the necessity, and the beauty, of absurdity. And it all began with a little girl falling down a flight of stairs.
In the early fall of 2011, I was showing off my attic study to friends visiting from New York — a feeble attempt to demonstrate the advantages of living in Toronto by means of square footage — and their 3-year-old daughter, Emmy, wandered away while we were chatting. I looked over, then rushed over, both too late. All I managed to catch was the sight of her falling, a kaleidoscopic chaotic tumble. She flipped over three times. Her head hit the stairs, then her feet, then her head again, leaving a crumpled ball at the bottom. I knew instantly she must have been seriously hurt.
My imagination whirled with body casts and neck braces. Emmy’s father, rushing to her side, calmed her while surreptitiously and meticulously checking her body, piece by piece. She could move her neck, her legs. She could put her arms over her head. Relief poured over me like a pitcher of ice water. At least nothing major was broken. Then her dad began to look her over more closely. Not only was she uninjured, but she wasn’t hurt at all. Not a bump on her head. Not a bruise on her leg. Not a scratch. She didn’t need so much as a Band-Aid.
It’s not too much to say that Emmy’s wholeness shocked me. I could barely stand to look at her afterward. Every time I thought about what might have happened to my friends’ child, a fierce constriction grabbed my chest and a sickening feeling roiled in my belly. Over the rest of their visit, I kept randomly repeating, “That was a miracle.” It was the only phrase I could come up with. I didn’t know how to deal with inexplicable good fortune. Even after my friends returned to New York, the strange constriction in my chest persisted.
Christians famously have the problem of pain: how can a benevolent and omnipotent god permit evil to exist? But atheists like myself have our own paradox to contend with: the problem of joy. Why do randomly good things happen? In Graham Greene’s “The Power and the Glory,” a priest gives the explicit defense of their reality to his Red Shirt captor: “Can’t you see the doctors round the dead man? He isn’t breathing anymore, his pulse has stopped, his heart’s not beating: he’s dead. Then somebody gives him back his life, and they all — what’s the expression? — reserve their opinion. They won’t say it’s a miracle, because that’s a word they don’t like.” C. S. Lewis described his conversion to Christianity as a process of being “surprised by joy.”
Emmy was my confounding miracle, my joyful surprise. How had she survived without a single scrape? It didn’t make sense, and I couldn’t make it make sense.
Then Tim Tebow, playing for the Denver Broncos, subbed in for Kyle Orton and led a wholly improbable march to the playoffs, and sense started drifting toward me.
Read the rest. It is well done, and that is saying a lot coming from me when it concerns the New York Times.