I’ve lost all the rosaries, scapulars, religious rings and bracelets given me. Maybe I’m just not into such representations. But, I was humbled seeing that my former boss carried on him always a rosary in his pocket. The image of him touching his pocket throughout the day to make sure it was there remains in my mind to this day especially whenever as a Catholic I’m stricken now and then by guilt over not having any religious article on me (I’ve been joking with a foreign national who was baptized and grew up a Catholic but as an adult changed religion that ‘Catholic’ does you in with guilt). “You carry a rosary,” I observed aloud to him and he looked at me like I’ve lost my mind. My former boss is a priest, you see, so, well, he should carry one if only for the sake of walking the talk. But, he’s also a man and I thought, how humbling it is for a man to carry on him a rosary.
These days, perhaps because ageing does weird things to you, I’ve been remotely thinking about getting an article, precious enough that I’d not want to lose it. But where to buy that sort?
And then, in a recent Christmas gathering the field office head of our national partner-organization called me aside and presented me with – what do you know? – a glorious ‘knotted rosary’! You’re a Catholic naman aren’t you? she asked.
I was only able to open the package in my room after the party and when the bracelet fell on the bed, I realized after a moment that a search has just ended.
I immediately fell in love with it; again, as I read the words etched at the back of the tiny angel charm, and again as I note the story behind the making of the rosary- I wonder who that particular inmate is. I wondered about what the circumstances were at the time and what went on in the inmate’s mind as s/he worked on this project. But whatever. Now that it has found it’s way to me, I guess it means I ought to pray for that person’s wish to also come true.
I found myself making a promise- to take good care, this time, of this unexpected second-chance gift of religious article. The following morning, I ceremoniously told the lady manager, in a sort of witness taking to that promise, that I’ll wear the bracelet. Always.