31 July 2005
File under: mysterious ways
I didn't see anything out of the ordinary but the statue does look eerie.
I prayed silently as I would in a church and tried to discern what, if anything, was going on, beyond people praying most of them Hispanic women and [statue owner Julio] Dones standing by exhorting onlookers to prayer. He had made a hand-lettered sign which said something like, "If this gives you hope, pray for the needy and yourself." He also said to anyone who would listen that he was not asking for money, only that people should pray and turn to God.
I didn't feel that anything was terribly wrong other than the discomfiting sense that Dones's peaceful shrine could easily turn into a carnival if the forces of greed were allowed to take hold. But that was just my fear. The scene itself was prayerful and moving. It was as though the entrance to Hoboken's projects the dividing line that separates the city's $400,000-plus condominiums from its crime and poverty-ridden ghetto suddenly had an angel's foot wedged in the door.
I don't claim to have any explanation for this sort of miracle, if miracle it be; indeed, were there an explanation, the miraculousness of it all might dissolve in a glass of bitter cynicism. For some people, that's just fine.
But I think that what matters in these incidents is not so much the mechanics but the response: people believe, and when people believe, unexpected things can and apparently do happen.Posted at 8:25 AM to Immaterial Witness