In a recent blog about a coming visit by the Pope i predicted it would be “the perfect storm of grace,” much like Hurricane Grace of 1990 came to be known for such “perfection.” All of the elements just had to be in place. Yesterday all of the elements came together, and i found myself right smack inside its “peaceful eye.”
i had never dreamed of being part of this storm of grace, but at the last minute an ole pal o’ mine, my true blue Man in Blue, Officer Brian Reilly of the NYPD secured me and my stepson, Ben, a place in the Heart of New York, its Central Park. And not just anywhere in that gigantic park, what better place could it all come together than John Lennon’s precious Strawberry Fields. There 200,000 humans of every possible variety were pressed together in one spirit of hope, patiently awaiting the briefest glance at one who has shown himself to be “the Ambassador of Hope on Earth.”
Those standing on the highest hill were shouting out frequent false alarms of his arrival. Then suddenly they screamed and pointed the vast crowd up into the blue sky, where some passing clouds miraculously painted into the whole scene a magnificent rainbow, the Biblical Symbol of Hope. Noah told the people for all time that it meant God would never give up on us. And right in our midst there below was the most beautiful baby in the world, telling us in the wonderful words of Gandhi, “Every baby born is God’s personal love letter to tell us so…” Of course, our baby’s name was CLAIRE, named after St. Francis’ best friend! Many of us in the crowd decided she’d be perfect bait to catch a Pope!!!
It didn’t work this time, but all of us were perfectly satisfied that between the baby, the Papa, the Rainbow, and our human family, HOPE reigned!
Pope Francis whisked by, many an eye cried, every heart skipped a beat, and then the mob slowly went home happy. Ben and i were among the last ones to leave, as, of course, i just had to pay my Johnny a visit. We stopped by his IMAGINE Memorial, and as i read, “Imagine all the people living life in peace,” i thought, “Johnny Boy, you’d be mighty proud of this Pope Francis. Today he made your beautiful dream come true. Watch over him for us please. Let him stay around a good while longer. Thanks, friend! We still love you.
Oh, and buddy, they all say this man’s predecessor, Pope John Paul, really changed the world, working with Ronald Reagan to knock down the Wall and end Communism. But i always said JohnPaul couldn’t have done it without John and Paul – and George and Ringo. You guys sent words and melodies of sweet love over the Wall and into the broken hearts of those in that Darkness, making their chains unbearable, intolerable. And do you know what, Johnny? This Pope Francis knows it’s true. He knows that to change the world, we must embrace the world and all that’s in it! Bye for now…See ya next time. Peace.”