Yesterday I shared with a bunch of friends that I'd invoked a prayer to St. Anthony in desperation on a hunt for my eyeglasses, up against the clock ticking toward a not-to-be-missed medical appointment.
Obviously they were in the condo, but I'd searched everywhere I'd been, everywhere I hadn't been, even into closets I hadn't touched. I knew I'd taken them off to take a shower; there were a limited number of places I could have put them.
I peered out into the dark, rainy morning. I knew I'd be a hazard if I tried to drive without them. Finally, I decided to give St. Anthony a try.
I'm a convert to Catholicism. Many of the quirky prayers and beliefs associated with this faith-for-the-masses I scoffed at during my upbringing as a proper Episcopalian and haven't made much attempt to learn about them since joining the Church. Still, I remembered a children's prayer I'd read somewhere (probably in a novel about somebody's Catholic childhood) so I chanted, feeling very silly indeed:
Tony, Tony, turn around!
Something's lost and must be found!
Then I shrugged my shoulders, said, Oh well, and walked into the bedroom.
Hmm, maybe they fell off the nighstand and under the bed?
I got to my knees and peered under the bed. Oh, well, I muttered yet again, preparing myself to come up with Plan B and bracing myself against the bed frame and the nightstand on my knees to stand up.
And there were my glasses, right at eye level, lying on a coverlet whose pattern obscured them from my weak vision when viewed from above (because I had looked 50 times on the bed for them at least) but perfectly obvious when viewed from this angle.
Thank you St. Anthony! I whooped, put the glasses on my nose, the dog in her crate, and headed for my appointment.
To my amazement, upon opening my car door, there between the door and the driver's seat lay a set of keys I'd lost ten days ago. A double whammy!
How does it work? It does work! I know it works! I marveled.
I think it's this: We are literally blinded by our own efforts and anxieties. The minute we turn it over to a Higher Power, the blinkers are removed and we are given to see what we could not see just moments before. Somehow we take that concern and set it aside, and…trust.
And though there are many long, adult, theologically puffed-up prayers to ask St. Anthony's assistance in finding lost items, I think I'll stick with the tried and true.
I seem to recall someone saying that we needed to approach our faith as a little child anyway,