I Will Become a Blessing! by Paula Rose Michelson

Have you ever struggled and found yourself speaking what you longed for out loud? If you have then you are like Naomi. And like Naomi at the time she made this statement which to me sounds like a promise, I wonder if she gave any thought as to how she could achieve her goal. I know that when I made similar promises to myself I found that I sometimes lacked the resolve or ability to accomplish what I committed to. Perhaps that has been your lot to. If so, I hope today’s post allows you to see hidden options within whatever you are facing.

                Until we meet again, I pray that God Blesses YOU!

The Text

                News of Tía’s passing brought all who knew her to visit the house. The door to the casa was seldom still. Many came the day she died. Others paid their respects during the six days that followed. Life for Naomi and those in the little barrio of Spanish Harlem that extended into the surrounding suburbs changed. Everyone felt the disruption. Although people had seldom visited the casa before, it seemed that they now traveled hours to pay their respects to her family, of which Naomi was the sole representative. Those who knew her before marveled at the change they saw in the young woman’s bearing and demeanor. Many who came identified themselves to her as a member of Las Niñas. Each woman would say no more than this as they reached into their purse or pocket and handed her a small wad of money or a few coins. Naomi was shocked that anyone would think of money during such a time. One woman noticed her look of disdain and pulled her aside. “Listen, this is not for you,” Justine said. “It is to continue the work for the niñas. Comprendes?
                It appeared to Justine that Naomi did not know what she meant when she said “yes” so she insisted, “Come, I will show you!” She took Naomi to the office, closed the door, pulled out the blue companion volume to The Book of the Tías, and placed it in Naomi’s hands. “Open it.” Naomi opened the book and saw columns of names and numbers. She looked up with tears in her eyes, aware that she was finally grieving her loss. She was unable to speak. Sensing this Tía’s state of mind, Justine explained, “We all paid. Each  month after we left, we all gave a little so others could have a good life. But you are her chosen one. I fear you will pay with all of your life rather than a few coins here and a dollar or two there as we have. May God bless you, my sister, for continuing Tía’s work.” Naomi forced a wan smile.
                “I live only a few blocks from here.” Justine picked up Tía’s phonebook and pointed to an entry. “Here, this is my phone number. Call me whenever you need my assistance. I will help you as I did our tía. And always remember that our tía said, we would become a blessing.” She turned, reached the threshold, and realized that Naomi had not budged. Since Maria was staying at the casa for a few weeks, Justine opened her mouth to call her. Before she uttered a syllable, she thought of all this Tía’s life of service entailed, decided to befriend her, and asked, “How can I help you?”
                Naomi blinked but did not respond. She took Naomi outside and settled her by the fountain. Naomi looked at her surroundings and hoped they would prove as restorative as they had in the past. However, she was unable to relax and fiddled with a loose thread from her sweater while her agitation mounted. Justine noticed her behavior. “Be at ease. It is two o’clock. People are working, busy with their children, or cooking dinner. No one will come to visit until this evening. Rest. I will bring you something to eat and drink. Then you must sleep. I will stay the night, as I told mi esposo, Bobby, I would.”
                Naomi nodded, grateful to yield to the woman’s care. Freeing her mind as best she could, she leaned back into the arms of the wicker chair. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Confronted by sorrows that haunted her, she silently admitted, Madre Vida died before my training was completed. The very morning she died my adoption papers and my citizenship papers arrived in the mail. But there was no one to thank or to share the moment with. Finally relaxed enough to think of other things, she listened to the birds chirping, closed her eyes, and thought, The sunlight filtering through the trees does feel nice. She breathed in the sweet smell of newly mown grass, remembered Spain during harvest, and drifted off to sleep. She heard it before she knew what she was hearing. It grew louder and louder. She felt as if her body would rip apart. The fear of the unknown gripped her. No, I am not afraid of the unknown. I am afraid of people finding me to be less than they need me to be. She broke into a cold sweat and ran her fingers through her hair. Sensing she had forgotten that she was in America and needing to feel safe, she told herself, These things could not happen to me here, not in America. You are safe. You are a woman of means with a mission to accomplish. Almost awake, she searched to find a way to make her fears vanish. Since she had lived with the fear that others would discover her secrets, she knew that was the problem and pledged to die rather than reveal her faith or her illegal status. It took less than a heartbeat for her to calm. When the last vestige of her fear had passed, she forced herself to think of the future and silently proclaimed, I will be a blessing!

For me, the biggest blessing is found in Romans 5:8 for it says; But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

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