During World War II, my mama prayed... a lot. Day and night she prayed for her baby brother and nephews and for her husband to return from war. In between praying, she cried. She often felt hopeless.
One day she went to el centro, downtown El Paso, to try to get her mind off of her worries. On her way home, she looked up at the sky. In El Paso, the sky is broad and the clouds are magical. She was wondering how her brother was-- he was so young. Walking through the unpaved road towards her mother-in-law's house where she had lived with her husband for many years, she glanced up. She couldn't believe it. In the clouds, in an opening, she saw Jesus. He was looking down on her with those compassionate eyes that you see on Catholic prayer cards. Looking down on her and giving her hope with those beautiful, compassionate eyes.
That day she knew they would all come home safely. And they did. One by one, her husband, and her baby brother, and her nephews returned from the Pacific and Europe. While her husband came home wounded and spent a year in a body cast, he had come home.
She told me this story all my life.
My mama was a hard woman, bitter and distrusting after a lifetime of suffering. But when she told that story, she softened. It was a miracle that Jesus had shown Himself to her that day, walking on Pera Street through the dusty streets, past adobe buildings and corner grocery stores. It was the miracle of her life.
I've been remembering that story recently in these times when it is so easy to feel hopeless. And I wonder what miracle will manifest itself in our lives, in our nation, in our world? How will we connect to the vastness of the sky, of the heavens, and gain the strength to live with hope?
Thank you to Joaquin Leyva for permission to use the photo of the double rainbow.