I sat next to my five-year-old niece at Mass yesterday morning. I was subbing for the seventh grade, and the seventh graders have Kindergarten prayer partners. That means that the older kids sit with the youngest kids during Mass. My niece’s prayer partner was a Reader at Mass, so he sat up front, and I got to sit with E.
My brother and sister-in-law brought E home from China two years ago. She was three-and-a-half and had one English word. They rescued her from an orphanage where the children picked their clothes out of a box each morning and wore multiple layers because there was no heat in the building. I don’t live with her, so I don’t quite have the full picture, but I find her miraculous.
During Mass, E examined her fingertips. I couldn’t just totally watch her, though I desperately wished to. I had to keep my eyes on the seventh graders, their young charges, and the priest. Still, with frequent side glances, I could see her.
This is what I observed. E. checked out each one of her fingertips. She could see a circular glow on the ends of every one of them. She looked up at the hanging light fixture overhead. She looked back at her fingers. She felt the backs of her hands. She looked at them, and turned them over to look at her palms.
I was entranced. It made me appreciate how discoveries are made. Eyes wide open, for just a moment, I was able to see as a very young child sees. How incredible are our hands! What a marvel are our fingers! Light shines on all it strikes. What a gift I received this morning, and at the perfect place…Mass. Coincidence? I don’t think so.