Sometimes after her parents had tucked her up in bed, the girl would lie awake and think. She wondered: Am I really here? Or am I a dream? And if I am here, how did I get here? What am I here for? But if I am only a dream, whose dream am I part of? Is the world real or not?
These questions went around and around her head and there seemed to be no answer.
One night the girl thought of God. She didn’t know much about Him. No one really spoke about Him. She wondered if He really existed. She thought: If God exists, shouldn’t I pray to Him? Isn't that what people do? So night after night, she tried talking to God. She told Him about her life. She asked Him for things. But He didn’t say anything back. Was he really there? One night she forgot to talk. She forgot all about God.
But then one day she remembered the church up the road. An idea appeared in her mind. Where did it come from? She announced to her parents: “I’m going to church.” They looked a little surprised but didn’t object. She decided to dress up and take along a bag. A bag would make her feel really grown up. It was a red bag.
She got to the church in time for Sunday school and she listened to stories from the Bible. Then she went into the church. She took her red bag into the church. And all of a sudden she wished she’d left that bag at home. She wondered: is it wrong to bring a red bag into church? Is red a sacred colour? She had a vague idea that red belonged to God, not her. She didn’t feel right.
After a few weeks, the girl stopped going to church by herself. No one noticed. No one said anything. Again she forgot all about God.
When the girl was a few years older, she went with her school class to a church. The girl wasn't sure why they were going. Perhaps it was a special day. The girl thought of her red bag as she walked to the church. She didn’t have a bag this time. She was glad. She had nothing but herself. She stood and listened to the hymns and wished she knew the words. She listened to the prayers and wished she could pray. She yearned for something. She didn't know what.
And then a basket was passed around for the collection. The girl didn’t have any money, not a single coin, and she felt bad. She pushed her way along the line of girls towards the teacher and apologised for having no money to put in the basket. The teacher smiled and said it didn’t matter. But it did. She’d done something wrong. She didn’t know what was expected. She didn’t feel she belonged.
For many years that girl didn’t think any more about God. Then one day she wondered: Where did I come from and why am I here? This time she was ready for the answer. It came back loud and clear:
I made you. You belong to Me. You are here because I love you. I want you to love Me.
And the woman remembered that little girl who pondered and tried to pray. She remembered the girl and her bag, the colour of the Precious Blood. She remembered how she wanted so much to belong but didn’t.
And she thought: God has always been with me. He’s been calling me forever, because I do belong. I belong to Him.
That girl was me.