If it was a surprise to me that my $7-free-with-donation rosary was worth hundreds of dollars, then it was even a bigger surprise when the parish priest wrote back to me.
“He’ll tell you to keep it,” my Patient Husband had said, I think more than a little surprised I was worried about the donor of the heirloom rosary. But when the parish priest wrote back, he surprised me by saying yes, please return it so he could track down the donor and let them know what I’d discovered.
So, no more dilemma about what to do with it.
I brought it right over. (And it was kind of funny because the priest said “if you don’t mind,” whereas if I’d minded, I would have been well within my rights to just keep my discovery to myself.)
The other surprise to me was how reluctant I was to let it go, hence the urgency to get it back right away.
I read over everyone’s comments on yesterday’s post, and a number of you said God wanted me to have it and I should keep it and at least I’d put it to good use. But I don’t think that’s why I found it. I think I found it because God knew I’d recognize it for what it was, and that way it could make its way back to the person who shouldn’t have let it go in the first place.
I have a rosary from my grandmother. My Patient Husband has one from his grandfather. Yes, they’re both plastic, and yes mine is falling apart, but they’re meaningful because in a way they’re not just chains of beads but also chains of people, chains of family. Prayers don’t count more when they’re on an expensive counting device; heaven knows I’ve prayed often enough on my ten fingers, and God gave me those for free. But we attach importance to the love we felt at the hands of others. Remember all those knitting tools my friend gave me last year, how I revisited my grandmother’s crochet hooks? How they’re like touching the past?
It needed to go home. It needed to be loved and treasured and with someone who had a connection to its past. I’d have loved it, but not like that.
Now, if Father G. comes back to me with a statement that the donor doesn’t want it or that the donor wants me to have it, of course I’d take it back and love it and use it. But for now, I like to think it’s going home.