Life's about Change...Keep the Faith!


Sometimes strangers are placed in our path for a reason. A few years ago at the St. Jude Shrine in New Orleans, a stranger caught my eye. A cap covered her thinning hair, one eye seemed to look in a slightly different direction and and her hands clutched a walker. At the time, I was wearing a religious medal and thought perhaps she could use it more.

As I approached, I worried I might be overstepping with my every step, but the smile with which she greeted me erased any doubt. Leaning on a pew, she graciously accepted the small token and then, as if she were waiting for me to say something more or to pose a question, she leaned in and asked one herself, “You don’t know who I am, do you?” she whispered. Confused, my expression must’ve betrayed my ignorance and she motioned for me to sit.

Seventeen years ago, she began, she had been wheeled to the altar to die. Amy Gomez had been given 48 hours. Her doctors had sent her home. The cancer was everywhere. One tumor was so big she had to wear a bandage around her head to keep her eye from falling out.

With nowhere else to turn, her mother brought her here, to the shrine of the patron saint of hopeless cases. The rest is a matter of faith and fact. Amy lived beyond those 24 hours and the next and the next and by the time she saw her doctor again, she said all her tumors had disappeared never to reappear again. It’s faith as to what you believe is the reason. Here’s what I know: Amy wasn’t supposed to meet me that day; I was supposed to meet her. Whenever I question whether anything is possible, I think of her.

Amy may not look the same as before her illness. She’ll tell you her eye has never been the same. Neither has her hair or the strength in her legs. But perhaps, that’s WHY strangers approach her…so that she can HELP them by gracing them with her story. Life’s about change…keep the faith.