Tonight, I skimmed through old pictures of mom, the Jesus tortilla and I, including a number of letters that my mom has saved, written to her by people from all over, in the last 37 years.
Interestingly enough, it’s not the letters from random strangers that gets to me, so much as it’s how a few of these letters were addressed to my mom. For example, this particular letter, pictured on the left, doesn’t even include our real physical address. Instead, the letter is addressed to Mrs. Maria Rubio, Lake Arthur, Southern New Mexico, USA. That’s it. No street number or street name. No P.O. Box. Just like that!
Isn’t that so interesting? I mean, I know Lake Arthur is small but…
(As you can tell, even after 35 years of living alongside a pseudo-famous religious artifact, I’ve managed, instead, to have my mind blown by the way the United State Postal Service functioned in 1978.)
Ok. The letter. Who did it come from and what did it say?
The letter was written and sent by an Andrew Gruszewski, who in 1978 was residing in Paris, France! (How we managed to get this letter is beyond me)
Mr. Gruszewski, who was living in Paris, France in 1978, just one year after the discovery of the Jesus tortilla, wrote a letter to my mom, letting her know that he, “totally believed strongly in this miracle.” He does not make mention as to how he found out about my mom and the Jesus tortilla, unfortunately. However, he does go on to say the following:
“I have one request for you, Mrs. Rubio. Please pray in front of the miraculous image of Jesus on a tortilla and that Jesus Christ helps me in finding a job which could permit me to arrange and to put in order my personal and professional situations. Let Jesus Christ give the health for me and for my family and the possibility to see my closest family in Poland. Please pray for me.”
Incredible. This man, who might possibly be a Polish immigrant living in France, in 1978, has written a letter to my mom asking her to pray for him and his family.
I’d love to locate Mr. Gruszewski. I’d love to talk to him and ask him questions about where he heard about my mom and what compelled him to write to her so long ago. I mean, yes…he needed a job and yes, he wanted to see his family in Poland. But this man, living in Paris, France, heard about my mom who lived in this very small town in little Lake Arthur, New Mexico, and is asking her to pray for him.
What might have happened to Andrew?
I do not think that my mom, Maria, clearly understands the magnitude of how important this Jesus tortilla was to a lot of people around the world. Heck, I’m even having a hard time conceptualizing the importance and the Jesus tortilla and I practically grew up together. I actually started this post more impressed on how United States Postal Service managed to get a piece of mail to us with such a generic address.
But Andrew Gruszewski, a man living 5,209 miles away, took the time to write my mom a letter, to ask her to pray for him.
I don’t know what this means. In fact, depending on who you are, there could be mixed reactions to all of this. Some would call this crazy, some will call it insane and then maybe others will call it…beautiful, interesting, unique.
What I find wonderful is that someone in the world thought my mom was special. I’ve always grown up knowing that my mom was great, but I’m her daughter. I’m supposed to believe this. But there have been countless Andrew Gruszewski’s who have come to learn about my mom, have reached out to her and have come to believe how special she is, sometime without ever meeting her.
The Jesus tortilla, despite it’s reputation of being weird and funny and…well, you name it, has also brought some much needed love to my mom, something she yet has come to comprehend. Although she may not or may never know it or understand it, I am beginning to and maybe that’s the whole point.