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The Church of Chimayo

September 4, 2017

As we drove up to the humble terra cotta adobe church I smiled. Here, the renowned "church of miracles" stood, timeless and welcoming. I came prepared. In my hand I held a picture of my beloved boy, Grayson. You would never guess by just looking at the picture that he had a chronic illness. Diagnosed at age 2 with type 1 diabetes, Grayson had already endured thousands of needles with acceptance beyond his years. I came to put his picture in the church – to ask God for a cure for him, for a miracle.

 

As I stepped over the threshold of the entrance, tears sprang to my eyes and spilled over, meandering down my face. I didn’t understand why I was crying. I didn’t feel sadness, only deep reverence for this place that had given so much hope to so many.

 

I made my way to the little room to the left of the sanctuary to leave my son’s picture. I was not prepared for what I saw...hundreds and hundreds of faces looked back at me. All those souls, cared for, loved, prayed for, whispering hope. I gently placed Grayson’s picture on the wall amongst the many, hoping for a miracle. Still the tears flowed down my cheeks, never stopping for a moment the entire time I was in the church.

 

I made my way out of the room and sat in a pew to pray. I said a prayer of thanks for my beautiful son and asked what I could do to help him? I asked again and again, quietly looking up at the cross. And then I heard my answer: "Teach him about God." And then I realized…I had received my miracle and his "cure."

 

As I sit writing this, many years have passed and many visits to New Mexico (not as many as I would have liked!). I have traveled many places in the world, experiencing a panorama of places, people and cultures. My feet have walked many a museum; my eyes have beheld incredible sights and my ears have listened to the sweetest of sounds. None can surpass my Chimayo. The earth breathes me there, and I her. The serenity and sense of peace and belonging I have when I set foot on New Mexico soil cannot be put into words. It is a gift of Spirit.

 

Betsy Fowler

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