Did you ever
wonder how mothers of premature
babies are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering
selecting his instruments for
with great care and deliberation.
As he observes, he instructs his
angels to take notes in a giant
Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew.
Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron
Patron Saint. . .give her Gerard.
He's used to profanity."
passes a name to an angel and
smiles. "Give her a preemie."
The angel is curious. "Why this one,
God? She's so happy."
"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give
a premature baby a mother who
knows no laughter? That would be
"But does she have the patience?"
asks the angel.
"I don't want her to have too much
patience, or she'll drown
in a sea of self-pity and despair.
Once the shock and resentment wear
off she'll handle it.
"I watched her today. She has that
sense of self and independence
so rare and so necessary in a
You see, the child I'm going to give
her has a world of its own.
She has to make it live in her
world, and that's not going to be
"But Lord, I don't
think she even believes in you."
"No matter, I can
fix that. This one is perfect.
She has just the right amount of
The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is
that a virtue?"
"If she can't
separate herself from the child
occasionally, she will never
Yes, here is a woman whom I will
bless with a child less than
She doesn't know it yet, but she is
to be envied.
She will never take for granted a
She will never consider a step
When her child says momma for the
she will be witness to a miracle and
I will permit her to see clearly the
things I see--
ignorance, cruelty, prejudice--
and allow her to rise above them.
She will never be alone.
I will be at her side every minute
of every day of her life
because she is doing my work as
surely as she is here by my side."
"And what about her Patron Saint?"
asks the angel,
his pen poised in the air. God
"A mirror will suffice."