Archive of Reader Reactions & Anecdotes

Reader Comments on Resurrection

From LeeLee, 26 January 2008

Thank you for sharing your "Resurrection" experience! It was very moving. How true it is that a another's simple act of kindness can restore our own faith and hope.

From Lydia, 06 February 2008

Your "Resurrection" article reminded me of my own encounters with strangers who somehow touch our lives and move on:

Two o’clock in the morning. It was cold in the kitchen — my bare feet ached with it. But I was too miserable to sleep. Upstairs my boyfriend snored peacefully, unaware that I was about to end our relationship. I had known almost from the first that my moving in with Mark was a mistake, but I was too emotionally ravaged after my divorce to see the signs that were so obvious now: his sudden, violent anger, which he conveniently did not remember only hours later; his jealousy that could be triggered by nothing or anything including his own twisted imagination; his contempt for my writing and refusal to let me set up my computer in the spare bedroom; his obsession with cleanliness and neatness. I was a virtual prisoner, but I wasn’t about to stay that way. I knew he could be dangerous, but I also knew I had no choice: to stay was to die, first emotionally, and later perhaps physically. I had nothing to gain by staying, and a great deal — including my sanity — to lose.

I pulled my feet off the cold floor and tucked them under me on the chair — which would have infuriated Mark — and tried to think. I had secretly put a down payment on an apartment in a nearby city. Now all I had to do was find the courage to move before the end of the month. I tried to tell myself I wasn't afraid, but the truth was I was terrified. What if he blew up and tried to break my fingers again? I was well into middle age; what man would want me, except a jerk like this one? Would I live the rest of my life alone and bitter and lonely?

Yet I couldn’t stay here.

Our neighbor must have been sleepless, too, because I could hear her at her piano, lingering tenderly over some old, old favorites which I remembered from childhood: “I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows. . .” In my head, I sang the cherished words as she played — but when she got to the words, “I believe for everyone who goes astray, someone will come to show the way. . .” it was as if trumpets sounded and lightning flashed in the dark kitchen — and in the darkness of my heart, which was suddenly pounding.

Was it a message? A promise? Would someone indeed come — some savior, some guide, some loving friend — or the proverbial white knight — to show me the way?

Because I didn’t know what else to do, I accepted what I hoped was a promise and the next day as gently as possible informed Mark that I was moving.

Much to my amazement, he took it calmly, saying simply, “I think it’s for the best.” And to my further amazement, he helped me pack my things and load the rented truck.

Alone in my new apartment, with unopened boxes stacked around me, I faced that first night alone and wondered if I’d made a mistake. Yet there had been that promise. . . !

Or had there? Was I the victim of my own fantasies — or some cosmic joke?

Because no white knight came to show the way.

I managed to find a job I liked, but that Promised Savior didn’t materialize. I was still alone, still depressed, still lonely. At least I had my computer, and I wrote in my electronic journal for hours, trying to sort out the confusion and misery that seemed to haunt every avenue of my life.

It was years later that the realization hit me. Like the ancient Jews, I had been looking for One Special Savior — that one Anointed One who was always just around the next corner, just out of reach, embodied in the next perfect prayer which I never seemed able to utter.

But suddenly I saw someone did come to show the way — a lot of someones over the years. Sometimes they touched my life for only the briefest of moments, then moved on, leaving behind them a trail of healing and gratitude. There was Barb, who held me when I cried and tried to help me see the larger picture, and, through her own faith, gave me hope; there was Sean, with his innocent-seeming questions, who helped me examine myself and my motives; there was Tom, my protector when the drunk got amorous on the airplane; there was Danny, who gave me the first inkling that I was not the ugly step-sister I was convinced I was; there was Hansel, who pointed out truths I didn’t want to hear; there was. . . and there was. . .

There were so many I couldn’t count them. Some I have forgotten — some I’m sure I never recognized at all — but each of them helped me see the next step on my path.

The Bible calls them “angels unaware.” Maybe they were really angels — maybe they were only humans who heard my cry and took the time to care. And maybe it doesn’t matter. They didn’t have wings or haloes — and some were definitely not of any religious persuasion — but they were there with a light, however dim, to guide me when the path was darkest.

And they still show up in my life. When it seems there’s no way out of the mess I’ve gotten myself into, when it seems all hope is gone, when it seems nobody cares, someone comes to show the way. I’ve learned to expect them, although I usually don’t recognize them until they’ve accomplished what they came to do and slipped quietly out of my life.

I hope they know how grateful I am.