Looking through the shoe clearance rack at a department store, I was suddenly transported back to my teens and my first pair of “athletic shoes,” as opposed to my customary and much more reasonably priced sneakers.
When I took the Adidas shoes out of their boxes, they still bore the three diagonal stripes on each side. There was a time when I daydreamed that those athletic shoes and their “magical” stripes would transform me, a runner who was timed by a calendar instead of a stopwatch, into an Olympic-quality sprinter. Despite being considerably lighter in the wallet, the reduced weight and the stripes had no effect on my speed.
Of course, I should have known better. Wearing a Philadelphia Phillies baseball cap did not magically move me from my usual seat on the dugout bench to a position on the field. Growing a professor’s style beard did not make me any smarter.
What I wore or how I appeared did not have any effect on my intelligence or natural abilities.
So, what about the medals I wear? Christ on the cross, the Holy Spirit and the Miraculous Medal? No, they do not magically grant me faith in God and the desire to serve others of my love for Him. But there is a critical difference between them and the brand of shoes or sports gear that I wear.
I do not wear the medals in the hopes of gaining faith. I wear them as an expression of the faith that I already have in God.
The medals are not magic or good luck charms. I wear them near my heart because they remind me of God’s love for me and my love for Him. God, our creator, offering limitless love and countless graces to us, His creatures. That’s not magical; it’s miraculous.
God’s love transforms us into what we are meant to be.