Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blessed Mother, are you there?

Years ago, my sister-in-law and I made several trips to Conyers, Georgia, where thousands would gather on a country hillside to pray the rosary while a visionary was reportedly receiving messages from the Blessed Mother. Believable? You decide. Here's my story:

As soon as I let Jenna, then 9, race across the field to join Aunt Gina and Cousin Jenny, Sara, then 5, exploded.

“Why can’t I go with them,” she screamed, grabbing my hand one instant, refusing to follow me the next. But they were already out-of-sight.

We’d traveled seven long hours to reach our destination, a place in the country where a visionary reportedly received messages from the Blessed Mother.

We’d been there before, Gina and me. Sitting on a hillside praying the rosary with 10,000 other pilgrims proved a powerful experience, one we wanted to share with our kids.

So we knew to arrive the night before, spread a blanket, and return early the next morning.

There was a little bookstore to the left, and Gina needed to go there. The area to the right was where the visionary would speak and pray, so I headed in that direction to lay out our blanket for the next day. We’d meet at the car.

It was a pleasant afternoon with a gentle breeze, but the walk across the field with Sara screaming by my side couldn’t have been more horrid. She balked, pulled, pushed, and cried.

I knew she was hungry. I knew she was tired. I knew she’d rather be with her sister and her cousin. I set my face like flint to get the job done.

When we finally reached our destination, I tossed the rumpled blanket onto the grass.  As I did, I overheard the chatter of a small group nearby.

“Do you see it?” one woman shouted.

“Yes, I do!” a man exclaimed.

“Look at that!” another cried.

A hush fell over the group, but I didn’t look up. I’d been here several times when others experienced the ‘miracle of the sun’, but I could never see it. Instead, I feverishly worked to get the blanket arranged.

Suddenly I felt Sara silently tugging at my shorts.

I looked at her.

Her eyes were transfixed on the sun. Her shoulders were relaxed, the tears dried, her little fists unclenched. She seemed to be in another world.

“Do you see it?” I asked.

Speechless, she nodded. I followed her gaze upward, but the glare of the sun turned me away.

I looked back at Sara, still staring aloft.

“What do you see?” I asked.

Without blinking, she responded. “It’s spinning,” then added, “I see colors around the sun.”

A hush settled over us. By the time I finished arranging the blanket, Sara no longer felt drawn to stare at the sun. It was like she re-entered this world, a changed child.

We held hands, skipped and laughed as we headed to the car. When we saw Aunt Gina and the girls, we couldn’t wait to tell them what happened.

The rest of the evening was uneventful. We ate McDonalds, where the kids jumped in the colorful balls, and munched on hamburgers and French fries.

Some question whether the visionary was fabricating the messages or not. It never mattered to me. The prayerful experiences affected my life. But, honestly, I believe a five-year-old couldn’t have manufactured the experience Sara had on that hillside that day.

Blessed Mother, pray for us.

Editor’s note: The miracle of the sun reportedly occurred at Fatima, Portugal on October 13, 1917 when the Blessed Mother, who had appeared to three children, promised to send a sign “so all would believe.” That day, thousands witnessed an opaque sun, surrounded by colors, spinning in the sky.

No comments:

Post a Comment

From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that he had to go to Jerusalem , and he told them what would happen to him there. He ...