The other day a flash of memory came to my mind, and the clarity of it shocked me. And the content also. Suddenly I remembered how natural and innocent faith I had in God and the possibility of miracles. Small, everyday miracles, but stillÖmiracles. I have no idea how it occurred to me that I can participate in a miracle if I want it hard enough. But thatís what I thought, and I prayed diligently that my wish come true. What astonishes me the most was that with my 5-year-old consciousness I didnít ask anything for myself. Of course, in my regular prayers I asked for little things to make my life better, but I never asked for a miracle to happen to me. I donít remember when it started, but I took up a strange practice every night after I went to bed and the lights were out. I donít remember getting the idea from anyone else, so it most have had a divine source. What I did was the following. Once I was warm under my blanket and ready to fall asleep, I uncovered myself, put my blanket aside, and lay still in the bed, praying for the miracle to happen, the miracle being that for the time Iím shivering without my blanket, someone on the street (I donít think I had known the term íhomelessí at that time) feels the warmth that my blanket is able to provide. Sometimes I could only be without my blanket for a few minutes, sometimes I lay uncovered for a long time. I did this almost all nights, I think for years, and I didnít have the least doubt that the miracle occurred every single time. And I never told it to anyone until recently, I never wanted to gain approval for doing it. And I believed, and my heart filled with warmth and gratitude that I can be a mediator in such miracles.
And now, so many years later I wish I still had that strong a faith, but it would be a lie to stay I still believe like I did as a child. Iím full of doubts and ingratitude and sheer ignorance about myself and my Creator (it has been reduced to a reflex to still write every word connected to Him with a capital letter), and my once powerful faith has shrunk to almost invisibility. Such miracles wouldnít be possible for me now, I wouldnít believe in them any more. And without believing I guess they would not work. What remains is that I still believe that those childhood miracles took place and someone out on the streets felt a little bit warmer for a couple of minutes every evening. I long for the assurance and safety of that kind of faith. If I wanted it more, it may come back, but being an adult faith seems so much more frightening. It is much easier to look away, to keep myself busy, not to take notice, not to remember, not to believe, not to pray, to utter phrases starting with notÖto deny.
30th March, 2005Back