Rows of stickers captured out attention, slowly, he chose his favorites and put them in my basket.
“How many should we get?” I asked. “This many!” he replied, pulling down about 20 packages. “Ok,” I said, smiling.
We walked down the aisle, he followed me closely, watching me with intent eyes. We met another friend and counted out gift packages, 5, 10, 20. “How many should we get?” I asked him. He put about 6 packages into the basket, and said, “10”.
He continued to look into me, and a knowing filled us both, I think. We’d just met, and many years of life ran between us, yet we knew one another. He looked at me sideways, and came closer. He was now part of the process, we were in this shopping experience together, though we would soon go our seperate ways. It was one of those five minute periods of time, the kind that if you are not careful, you will easily miss, that changed my life forever.
I think we underestimate change sometimes; thinking it comes in a smart structured box, is announced as “Change”, and suddenly we are different. I think its really more like the sands of time that shape us, the slow, gentle waves of experiences, ususally in the context of relationships, that erode us, transforming a sharp, jagged rock into a smooth, chiseled treasure.
His mom called him; it was time to be going, he had to get to school. He looked back at me, and then at his mom, and protested. I protested on the inside too; I was in school, the school of life, in which serendipitous experiences fall into your basket and transform rock into living.
His mom told him to tell us what he was. “I’m a miracle!” he exclaimed. “Yes you are, we agreed,” this boy of 5 was definitely that. “Tell them why,” his mom prodded. “Because I’m a child?” he said, a slight hint of a question in his voice. “Well, why else”, she continued. “Because I’m alive. I was in the hospital until last year, all of my life, and then they gave me a new heart. So now I’m here.”
And then he walked away. Just like that, and my life was changed forever.
We too are miracles. Because we have come from hospitals, barely surviving, on life support, and we too have been given new hearts. Because we are children. Of God.
Who knew that the dollar store was full of miracles?