I am by no means a religious person. I grew up in a very reformed Jewish household where we exchanged presents for Hanukkah but aside from that, there was very little else we did. At one point, I did want to extend my Hebrew learning and attended 1 year of Hebrew School where I did exceptionally well. Sadly, it ended there. The option was presented to me on having either a Bat Mitzvah or a Sweet Sixteen. I chose the latter, not knowing that we were moving nor that Sweet Sixteens were not a big deal outside of the NYC area. Once we moved out of the melting pot of Brooklyn, NY, me being “Jewish” was something I shouldn’t tell people, like my Mental Illnesses, because of the stigma and prejudice surrounding it. I also knew, as my parents did, that once out of NYC and in the WASP state of Connecticut, I was most likely never going to marry Jewish. I met my husband at 16. He grew up a “Chri-ster” attending Catholic Church only on Christmas and Easter. His father was one of those people who attended Catholic School as a child and decided it wasn’t for him. Needless to say, both Jimmy and I, are not religious people. There was no debate on which religion our child(ren) would follow because we both didn’t follow any. Respectively, I tend to acknowledge myself as an Agnostic while my husband says he’s an Atheist. In fact, Sophia is more religious than we are, as she believes in God.
When 9/11 happened or 12/14 (Sandy Hook), while others found God, I digressed even further wondering how could a God kill these innocent children? With that being said, I am extremely respective to all those who are devout in their religion. In some ways I am jealous of them. I hold Amendment 1 of the Constitution in high regards… Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, & Freedom of the Press. Everyone should be allowed to believe what they want because honestly, if we all believed the same thing, this world would be terribly boring.
I know, I know, where am I going with this?
Last Saturday I went on a hike in my second backyard, a huge park with hiking trails literally down the street from my house. Unless I am hiking with friends or family, I usually zone out, focusing on the sights, smells and sounds of nature. On this such occasion, I was presented with something interesting. I started up the hill to walk through the hay-fields and opposing me, coming down the hill, was a college aged female with a backpack and headphones on. I thought nothing of it. I pass so many people on the trails, especially on such a beautiful day as it was. But, I do tend to observe people, whether it is because they are being loud or just for the sheer fact that they are wearing flip flops on a pebble and root filled trail (Really people, proper footwear, come on). The gap between the woman and I was closing. She looked at me, reached into her pocket, and pulled out a rectangular slip of paper.
As we passed, she handed me the slip of paper and said, “You look like you could use this. Hope you have a great day.”
My initial inspection of the slip of paper was, “Holy cow, she handed me money!” Of course I didn’t actually believe that. I mean it was a $1,000,000 bill, how many of those are there in the world? Do they even actually exist? Do they actually have Ben Franklin on them? Then I looked further at the words scrawled on the paper:
What made me stand out? Could she really read my eyes from far away? Could she see the inner turmoil I’ve been going through? Did God tell her? Oh my, does that mean there is a God or another higher being? For some reason, she knew something was wrong and taking a small part out of her day, she brought a smile to my face.
A stranger cared enough to make me smile.
Now I am beginning to wonder, are there really spiritual signs? Signs that show us there are other people looking out for us even when we can’t fathom the thought of looking after ourselves? Do these signs come from messages from a God, from deceased family and friends? Do we actually have Guardian Angels? Or is it just the sheer fact that I looked sad, this coed picked up on it and thought that maybe if I attended church I would gain a great group of friends and a spirituality I certainly lacked…