256 Words

I Needed a Miracle

M. Stanley Bubien

I needed a miracle. That's why I was here today, now, in this line, a line I usually stood in with my wife---but not this Sunday. All because that night...

I had returned early. The garage door rumbled closed, and I heard footfall upstairs, strangely heavy.

"I'm home!" I called to my wife.


As I climbed the steps, my wife burst from our bedroom, slamming the door behind her, and blowing a strand of hair from her eyes. Before she said anything, I knew.

My throat remained tight for hours afterward---after escorting my wife's lover from my own home.

"Please," she begged days later. "Come... back."

I laid upon the motel room's empty bed.

"I... love... you," she whispered.

I tried to respond, to choke some word out, but nothing would pass my constricted throat.

And still today. Here. At the front of the line. My throat kept me from confessing my need for a miracle, even to the robed figure before me.

"Body of Christ," he said.

I mouthed "Amen," and he set the wafer in my palm. Stepping aside, I glanced at the stained-glass towering beyond the alter---an image of Christ surrounded by a throng of lepers, his eyes unafraid, understanding their disease, healing hand poised over them.

That's what I needed. Christ. Just like all those people needed him---in the flesh, able to understand me---to heal me.

I lifted the wafer, and as the light from the image passed through it, I placed it on my tongue.

Copyright ©1997 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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March, 1997
Issue #11

256 Words