What about you?

When was the last time you said a desperate prayer,
begging God to perform a miracle?
When was the last time
you bruised your knees from kneeling,
as well as your fingers
as they raced repeatedly through your rosary?




Did the Lord show up eventually
as he did with Martha and Mary?
Did he perform the desperately requested miracle?

I remember the first time
I ever prayed for a miracle.
I was ten years old,
and my father lay dying on his bed,
my mother weeping over him.

I think I was more concerned
about my mother than my father–
the way she seemed ready to fall apart

Mom and dad in happier times

I prayed desperately.
I knelt before an altar full of crucifixes
and statues of every conceivable saint,
begging for the miracle
that would rescue my father from death.

Long story short:
God didn’t give me my miracle.

When I walked into my father’s bedroom that afternoon,
everyone’s tear-streaked face and broken voice
told me in no uncertain terms that
our lives would never the same again.

After a few hours, everyone got busy
as families do during deaths:
One brother making arrangements with the funeral parlor,
another brother contacting the insurance company,
and a sister relaying the news to relatives and friends.

My sister-in-law took me with her to get mourning clothes.
When we stepped out of the house,
I was stunned by the sunlight:
How could the sun shine so brightly on such a day?

Though only a child, my faith
was no less desperate not Martha’s.
But my prayers, unlike hers, were not granted.
I never really figured out why.

Despite my desperate prayers,
I felt that God let me down.


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