A few years ago I was a Catholic Worker for the summer. One day I realized we were out of pillows for new guests, so I asked my director what we should do. She bluntly told me, “Pray for pillows.” Admittedly, I thought she was being a bit ridiculous, but I walked out into our entrance and said a half-hearted prayer that sounded something like this: “Hey God. I don’t know what kind of prayers should be said for pillows, but we need pillows. So, if we could get some, that’d be great.” I closed with a Hail Mary and went on to sorting donations.
About an hour later, there was a ring at the door. By the time I answered it, no one was there, but a bag full of pillows sat at the door. I was shocked, I ran into the office proclaiming, “LOUISE! SOMEONE DROPPED A BAG OF PILLOWS AT THE DOOR!” She smiled, laughed for a moment, then said, “Well I told you to pray for them, what did you expect?” I wondered at her ability to ask God for exactly what she needed – and her expectation that God really would answer.
The following summer I found myself at Nazareth Farm for the first time as a summer sojourner. I learned about a little phrase that we say a lot around here, “Expect a miracle.”
This Easter season, I’ve returned to that phrase as I contemplate the risen Lord. In this season, we rejoice because Christ is risen as He said! We are an Easter people, and if we believe in Him who rose from the dead, then we believe in miracles. We can pray with the confidence that God hears us, and we can expect that God will answer. Sometimes God answers us with the big and supernatural, but I’ve found that miracles are often extraordinarily precise in their ordinariness, like an extra bag of pillows at the door.
As I finished up a home repair project with some staff members last summer, we found ourselves in need of just one more piece of siding to finish the project. In the scrap pile laid a piece that was just big enough. Expect a miracle.
The sun rose over the ridge on Easter morning, the birds awoke with soft chirps and songs, and the trees rustled in the breeze. I found a quiet hope in the steady rhythm of the web of life here in the hollow, even as the rest of the world feels chaotic. Expect a miracle.
My school changed the grading policy for the semester, and it’s now impossible for me to fail the course I was so worried about. Expect a miracle.
We find ourselves in a scary place and time, but the son of God is free among the dead, and He is with us! In Christ, we can expect miracles. As we navigate a world of doubt and uncertainty, let us return to the hope of Easter by renewing our belief in that little phrase: Expect A Miracle.
-Killeen McCans, Nazareth Farm Sojourner and soon to be senior at Notre Dame University