Here's an adaptation of an old "All Things Considered" piece. You can listen, if you've a mind to, here:
Members of the faithful recently gathered outside a hospital window in
Hospital officials insisted the glass was merely frosted with condensation but the people in the parking lot knew better. Their faces rapt, they were gazing upward at the Virgin Mary, holding the baby Jesus. Milton, Massachusetts.
I have always had a soft spot for those folks who see Christ in a tortilla, or Mary’s face in the trunk of a sycamore tree. Aren’t we all looking for a sign: a parking space, a promotion, a nod of recognition from the guy behind the Starbucks counter? Don’t we all want to know that, in the midst of a seemingly chaotic, incomprehensible universe, someone sees us?
Not long ago I found myself in the grip of one of those ridiculous schoolgirl crushes. Oh!...the brooding blue eyes, the cowlicked hair, the smile that melted my heart! One morning I was at a gathering where he was expected, too. The door opened and the sun was shining so brightly I could make out only the silhouette of the person coming in. Who’s this pudgy, middle-aged schlub? I thought impatiently. Where is HE? And then, like condensation on a window slowly forming shape in my mind, his face took recognizable shape and I saw that it was him! For a second I’d seen the object of my affections as others see him--ordinary, one of millions. And though that didn't diminish him one iota in my estimation, I did get to thinking, Who’s crazy? Which view is right? Aren’t our eyes occasionally given through love, or what feels like love, to discern a person in all his or her true glory?
I think of those people in
coming out of their houses, getting into their cars, driving to the hospital. I think of them standing in the parking lot, with all their worries and griefs and sorrows: looking up at the condensation on the window, wanting so badly to see a face looking back at them, longing so deeply for a sign that they aren’t alone, that they haven't been abandoned, that their suffering is not a mockery. In a newspaper article, I read that one of them said, “She’s praying against abortion; that’s why she’s holding the baby,” and someone else said, “She’s telling us to pray for peace.” Milton, Massachusetts
The psalmist asked, “When will I come to the end of my pilgrimage and see the face of God?” And who are any of us to say those people in the parking lot were crazy?
|HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!|