Wednesday, May 9, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #182* Rachel's Story Part 4

Part IV:  "The Lord hears the cry of the poor; blessed be the Lord!"  The little chapel floor was dotted with the prostrate figures of white-robed nuns giving glory to God in song.  Visitors had wooden pews; the nuns leveled themselves with the floor.  Crisp white saris with blue stripes traveling the length of their garments wrapped around these angelic creatures.  Only their bare, brown feet with white-skinned soles were visible.  Their faces were low to the ground at the opening of Holy Mass. The altar was prepared, Jesus was on the cross at the front of the chapel.  Nothing would have been unusual about this Mass, except that...everything was.  

I was at Mother Teresa's home for the dying in Washington, D.C.  "Gift of Peace Hospice" was the name of the home, and I came here not only to hear Mass, but in hopes of meeting Mother Teresa herself.  The June sun brightly shone through stained glass windows.  To the left and a few rows of nuns ahead of me was Mother Teresa herself, as barefoot and prostrate as all of her daughters.  With utmost willpower, I struggled NOT to think of Mother, and tried to keep my mind on Christ.  At the end of Mass, the faithful and the sisters made their way out into the foyer.  I had no real reason to think that I would get more than a glimpse of this holy woman known throughout the world, and I would've considered myself lucky to get even that.  

Merciful, Loving God had more in store for me than I dared to dream. Mother Superior came up to me in the crowd and spoke words about my baby that I cannot recall.  Leaving me, she wove her way through the crowd and approached Mother Teresa, who was speaking with someone else at the far end of the room, about 25 feet away.  This is where my memory is crystal clear: Mother Superior leaned in, speaking only a few words to Mother Teresa - who turned in my direction and took a step.  Instantly, like the parting of the Red Sea, all peoples in the room made a path that paved its way directly from me!  I saw only this shadowy path, lined with people on either side, and a glorious, white-clothed vision of sanctity coming my way.  It might as well have been St.Peter at the pearly gates coming for an accounting of my life- I was that nervous.  She was short; I was hot. She was determined; I was dizzy. She was intense; I couldn't breathe. 

Focusing on her bare, crippled feet, I marveled - they defied understanding, for they were so deformed by arthritis that I don't know how she stood up straight.  In slow motion she approached me, looked briefly at my face, and said nothing.  I felt unworthy of her presence - not by anything she did, but by some inner conviction.  Turning to my baby, she played with her for several minutes.  Mother Superior took my baby from my arms and placed her in Mother Teresa's.  Mother asked me first, "Only one?" then caught my eyes awaiting my answer.  Her eyes were piercing.  How could I explain all that had happened, the rape, the crisis marriage, the tragic details of my situation?  So I stammered, "We..we just got started."  Mother replied matter-of-factly, "I have over 500 babies in India.  Children are a blessing."  She played with my baby for a little while more, and then handing her back to me, instructed, "You go, and be a missionary of charity in your home..."  Once more she spoke, holding my baby's hand and addressing her, "And you, you will be a Missionary of Charity someday."   Mother Teresa left me a parting gift of several miraculous medals, with the words, "God Bless You." God already had; through Mother, He gave me something new to remember on this date in June for the rest of my life: It had been one year to the day since I had been raped by a stranger and conceived the baby she had just held and prophesied over. 

"Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me; and holy is His name."  LK 1:49

My name is Rachel and I want to share the miraculous deeds God has granted in my life.  I'll share more in my next post!  God Bless!


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