Magic and miracles

December 10, 2012

He started with some small stuff, basic tricks like getting children to lay eggs, before he moved up to
pulling a dove out of an empty newspaper and then making burnt money reappear.

Yes, he had a way with the children — Liz, Jon and Hannah, along with 50 other kids and some adults
— who were intrigued especially by the dove (just where did it come from?) and the money burnt to
black ash. It was 324,000 shillings, which is somewhere over $100 – I joked it was his pay.

But then the Great Magoo, a magician from Congo in his yellow vest and pinstriped pants, somehow
turned those black ashes back into Ugandan bills complete with correct serial numbers.

This was the annual Froese Christmas party, complete with gifts and hotdogs and games for
especially the Ugandan children who descended on our home here in the heart of Africa.

At one point, My Bride, who expertly runs the annual event from A-Z, asked, so what’s the difference
between magic and a miracle?

It was a good question to think about before the magician came on, and the kids, more than you
might imagine, had some insightful answers.

It seems to me, then, that it comes down to something like this: magic is a mystery that somehow
challenges and changes our perceptions, but a miracle is a mystery that somehow challenges and
changes us.

We were all glad that that dove that came from the newspaper was allowed to stay and fly around in
our playground. It flew through the mango and banana trees and above the kids’ heads as they looked
up and pointed in wonder. Then it flew off to wherever.

It was as good a reminder as any of the peace that Christmas gives, even on a warm December
afternoon in Uganda when magicians show up with their colourful names and funny clothes.

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December 10, 2012 • Posted in
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