Saturday, December 17, 2016

Looking for a Miracle

Wapo put the story up Thursday afternoon, or at least that's when I saw it. The organizers of the Women's March on Washington had secured that precious permit. I saw the story, and then I went to Kayak to look for flights.

I told Pete I wanted to go, and he, of course, told me to go for it. Tickets bought. Place to stay with very welcoming friends arranged. Office told.

I'm all ready, set, go.

I have to. I feel as if I've been jolted awake from a 30+-year slumber. Those are 30 years in which I have worked hard, played hard, found extraordinary love, raised three kids and lived the most blessed of lives. Perhaps it's the fact that two of my kids are now in college and should be preparing for their own multi-year-slumber. Instead, they're coming of age in what I see as the most unsettled and dangerous time for the U.S. in my lifetime. My lifetime.

To all those who believe I only keep like-minded folks in my life, I wish to tell the tale of my very good friend. She is a devout Catholic. And when I say "devout," I mean the type who hails from an overwhelmingly Catholic country with the tenets of Catholicism entwined with all things political, governmental and societal. A truer believer than anyone I have ever encountered.

I make a point of keeping my atheism out of our discussions. She knows full well that I am a committed non-believer. I have no doubt that she includes me in her prayers every time. (Except when she's so mad at me about something she doesn't talk to me for nearly two full months. But even in those circumstances, I'm sure she asks for me to see the light, which, in her eyes, means to acquiesce to her.)

She is having a major life crisis that rose like a three-day corpse more than a year ago. It has never gotten better. In all that time, it has only gotten worse. The crisis only makes her belief that much fervent. In fact, for a number of months, she's been sending me information about Our Lady of Medjugorge. She has raised the topic at least a half-dozen times in the past few months. In 1981, six kids in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina saw the Virgin Mary. She comes back and gives messages from time-to-time. I guess news of the end of the world is expected at some point. Or maybe it's a lot like Lourdes in the sense that pilgrims get their wildest dreams realized prayers answered.

Five minutes after I told her what I was doing, she messaged me back that she was going to be gone in February/March. "Where?" I messaged. "Bosnia," she said.

To say I am flabbergasted is an understatement. Wow! Wow. Wow?

I see no value in her trip. She's looking for a miracle, for god's sake. Miracles don't exist.

I am going to the March on Washington. I don't believe I am looking for a miracle. I imagine non-believers would say I am.

Fair enough.

I think what we both want is to know we did all we could to affect positive changes in our worlds. When I close my eyes and draw my last breath, I want to leave this world knowing I did the best I could to make it better than when I came into it. When she closes her eyes and draws her last breath, God will welcome her with loving arms and He will know she did the same.

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