It’s A Miracle
The Story Of God, Final Episode, Number Six, “Miracles”
From the Six-Part National Geographic Series
Narrated by Morgan Freeman
Running Length: 50 minutes
No rating given, but could be PG 13
I think everyone knows what the term “arriving late” means. Just when I was closing the book on reviewing the six-part “The Story Of God” National Geographic Series, the final episode on “Miracles” arrived. Though the other episodes deal with serious matters, this one has a touch of humor. Narrator Morgan Freeman, once again, visits various religion hubs around the globe for opinions on what constitutes a miracle.
The episode starts with Freeman describing a health matter when he was a child, and was near death. Then, the healing process began. What happened was described in his family as a miracle. But, just what is a miracle? Thus begins the voyage of finding inpiduals who have had a miracle, such as the window washer who fell 46 floors when cables snapped on his platform. The man’s brother died in the accident, but this man, though seriously injured survived. That means falling 46 floors or over 500 feet and onto concrete.
On to celebrate Passover with a family of the Jewish faith. First of all, during the Seder---no cell phones! Explanations are begun as to the various parts of the family service and songs are sung. As is explained to Freeman, the Jewish religion is built on miracles from the plagues of Egypt to the parting of the Red Sea. The Bible is not a book of history as much as a book of ideas.
Next, Mexico City with Our Lady Of Guadeloupe (appearing to a peasant) and then Rome with the Catholic saints, this religion is also based on miracles. In order to become a saint through a lengthy process, the main thing being two miracles happening after the person’s death when people pray through this person for help. Morgan Freeman has his own idea of a miracle, by next going to Hollywood and his movie career. The year 1989 was important to him with three famous films he was in, “Lean On Me,” “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Glory” (Denzel Washington won an Oscar in this film.)
Freeman explores the world of faith calculations to find a pattern in his life, with these examples, “...birds do not fly, they are flown, and fish do not swim, they are carried...” So what happens in your life is not pine intervention, but how you are carried through life. On to Cairo and an Islamic hospital which originated centuries ago with the idea that the healing philosophy is the will of God.
Back to North Virginia and meeting a man who experienced a health cure from lymphoma after he was given months to live. Next, is Buddhism and how it came into being, with the idea of “freedom from attachment” is healing, in itself. This is where humor came into being, as to Freeman’s surprise, the people in this Buddha group had seen his movies and one slaps him on the head in appreciation. Buddhism has no miracles, but much can be accomplished through concentration.
“Miracles” shows us what various religions from Christianity to Judaism to Islam and Buddhism think happens within the context of the word “miracle.” All explanations look good on paper until you, yourself, have experienced something similar without an adequate explanation. It could be a car crash rescue, a illness or accident recovery, someone lost and is found, someone recovered from an earthquake alive and we hear about this every day through our communication networks. Whether you want to admit it or not, when you look into your own past, what unexplained “something” do you see?
“The Story Of God” is a six-part weekly series on The National Geographic Channel, Sunday evening and began April 3, 2016. This will be shown on National Geographic Channels in 171 countries, in 45 languages and in Spanish on Nat Geo Mundo. Each 50-minute episode is a separate study of faith and a belief system going from the ancient Mayans to Christianity, Judaism, Hindu and Muslim. Actor Morgan Freeman is the narrator and interviewer in the series. The first episode (April 3) was “Afterlife” and Episode Two (April 10) was “Apocalypse.” Episode Three (“Who Is God?”) for April 17 was not reviewed. Episode Four on April 24, “Creation” has been reviewed, but no review for Episode Five, “Evil” on May 1. The Sixth and final episode, on”Miracles” is reviewed here. No rating for the series, but could be PG 13 for subject matter.
Copyright 2016 Marie Asner