Baffled by Miracles

imagesCAVP7MLPTwo days ago as I swept the floor in my workroom, I saw a small dark packet on the floor. I picked it up, having no idea where it came from. The packet was, in actuality, a Ziploc storage bag with another smaller packet inside. The dark material inside the smaller packet looked like old wood slivers and crumbled dust. I shook it down, turned it over, and I found the picture of an old friend.

This was the last packet of three packets I bought in Mexico in 1985. I was in Mexico making a movie and had a day off so went down to the market and bought three of these packets of picture and incense. Not reading Spanish very well, other than making out words for prayers or luck or money, I took them to my hairdresser. Que es? I asked.

Many of you have, perhaps, heard the story of the hairdresser who was, in reality, a curendera or healer, and who took me out beyond a pile of boulders as big as a house to kneel in the desert night. She blessed me and the packets, chanting, praying. The packets stayed warm for hours. Gloria’s style of healing is what’s called an orasionista (think oration) who heals with words and energy. Because of that experience, I ended going back to Mexico and living there three years.

I thought I’d lost it. I knew I’d given two away to friends who had problems, but I’d kept this one of San Martin de Caballero. I’d figured I could use someone with a helping hand.

Oddly enough, as if that weren’t enough, a couple of weeks ago, working on my writing, a memoir that contains parts of my Mexico life, including the blessing by Gloria, I thought of this packet of powder and wondered where it had gone to. Perhaps to someone more in need than I.

Two days ago, he galloped back into my life to lay at my feet the proverbial cloak of protection. I have no idea where he came from, but he came.

I’m always baffled when miracles come into my life, and I’ve had many. My husband is one. The Little House on the farm another. Many times I’ve been blessed by miracles and each time I’m as baffled as I was the night I knelt on the cold, stony ground and felt the energy from Gloria’s hands heat the three packets of powder I held in my outstretched hands.

I am now the orationista, the one who heals with words and the energy. And I’ve often wondered, after I was ordained twelve years later, if Gloria received a message too, one that said hacerlo! Do this.

Here is some of the story of Don Martin and why he became a saint thanks to information in Wikipedia. If you’re curious, there’s much more on the site. Just search San Martin Caballero. Don Martin, the horse rider. And a legend based on generosity and kindness.

Martin of Tours (316 – 8 November 397) was Bishop of Tours, whose shrine in France became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Around his name much legendary material accrued, and he has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints.

The Legend: While Martin was a soldier in the Roman army and deployed in Gaul (modern-day France), he experienced a vision, which became the most-repeated story about his life. One day as he was approaching the gates of the city of Amiens, he met a scantily clad beggar. He impulsively cut his military cloak in half to share with the man. That night, Martin dreamed of Jesus wearing the half-cloak he had given away.


Grace Offered

Monday of the Third Week of Lent

My head seems to be fixed onto my shoulders again today and my mind working.

For that I am grateful.

I’m also thankful for all your good wishes and prayers over this past week as I’ve stumbled into health again; and I’m very thankful for a friend who brought me yogurt yesterday, Cliff being busy with all the things that we usually do together and that he was doing alone.

Yogurt. A small thing and yet exactly what I needed to help with my healing after a week plus of medications of all sorts and varying toxicity. And not just any yogurt, mind you, rather she made a special trip to Trader Joe’s for Greek yogurt.

Today’s reading is about small things and special trips. Naaman, an army commander and greatly respected, was a leper. A slave girl suggests he present himself for healing to the prophet Elisha for healing. After some detours in the process (an interesting story in 2 Kings 5) Naaman finally reaches Elisha, arriving with horses and chariots and a complete contingent of servants The prophet doesn’t come outside but rather sends out a message for him to go bathe in the river seven times.

Of course, Naaman gets angry at the way he’s treated: I thought he would surely come out and stand there to invoke the Lord his God, and would move his hand over the spot, and thus cure the leprosy. Are not the rivers of  Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better….Could I not wash in them and be cleansed? But his servants prevail and say that if the prophet has asked him to do something extraordinary, he would have done it. So do the simple, they say. “Wash and be clean.” So he does and he is.

Most of us want to do great things. It’s the little things that are the hardest. The simple things. Like buying a friend yogurt; like saying hello and smiling; like holding a door open for another. We all forget those small things in the quest for the large.

Today, look for the small ways you can offer grace and healing to others. At the end of the day, list the small moments so you remember them. Maybe you can even practice them again tomorrow. And maybe your practice will help you notice when others offer grace to you.