This I Believe

Jana - Quarryville, Pennsylvania
Entered on February 25, 2007

An Ordinary Day

I had no idea when I began just an ordinary day that I would be blessed with a most unordinary moment.

I was browsing in a bookstore when I became aware of a dialogue between a young man, and a clerk.

Do you sell rosaries?


Do you have any idea where I could buy one?

I guess a religious store.

Do you know where one is?


Thanks anyway.

I am suddenly aware of a familiar feeling rising inside of me, and I know that

I will not be able to be unconcerned about the request I have just heard. I reach into my pocket and clutch the beads that are always there.

I glance out the door and see the young man sitting on a bench, head resting on his hands, staring at the ground. I take a few moments to think, but only briefly, and then I am standing beside him.

“Excuse me sir. Do you mind telling me why you are interested in finding a rosary?”

” My best friend is Catholic and he is going to Iraq next week. He wants to take a rosary with him and I was going to buy him a rosary and a Bible, but I don’t know what to do because I don’t have a rosary.

I have vivid flashes in my memory of the last time I saw these well-worn blue beads wrapped around wrinkled fingers. The memory gives me a warm feeling and my next action is as if being directed by someone or something outside of myself.

“These beads were held in my mother’s hands when she died and I would like you to give her rosary to your friend. I believe that she would want him to have them.”

I didn’t completely comprehend how amazing the encounter was. I did not ask his name or his friend’s. I returned to looking at my books, and he bought the Bible and left.

Not one day has gone by now though when I do not think of this moment, and I pray for that young man who searched for the perfect gift to give his best friend. I also pray that the soldier will receive a measure of peace and comfort in prayerfully fingering the well- worn rosary beads of my dear mother,

and that his faith in God will give him courage to serve the USA with integrity in a land and culture so different from what he is familiar.

I had no idea when I began just an ordinary day that I my mother and I would be an answer to not one, but two stranger’s prayers, and play a small part in one of the many miracles that are granted daily.

That is why I believe that God is the author and creator of the seemingly impossible and that we can find His presence in the most unsuspecting places, even while shopping for a good read on just an ordinary day.