These stories have been recounted by readers of some Georgian newspapers and magazines. They are about miracles which are near us and about the simple truths we tend to forget all the time: the recipe for a happy family life is love, which seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (1 Cor. 13:5), which means forgiving and caring for someone else above all.
I got married late. Two years flew by, but I couldn’t conceive. Though I had a lot of treatments, the Lord did not send us the much-desired baby.
One night my husband and I were driving home. It was pouring down rain. By the lightning we spotted an old woman under a tree. My husband stopped, got out of the car with an umbrella, took the old woman and put her on the back seat. The woman smiled and said:
“I have been sitting there for such a long time but no one has bothered to stop. The hearts of people have hardened: they are unable to pity others, but they demand God’s attention at the same time. As for you, you have grace and the Lord will reward you for your kindness.”
My husband interrupted her:
“If only you were right! In reality, we have not been found worthy even of simple human happiness…”
However, he didn’t say that he worried because of our childlessness.
The old woman fell silent and didn’t reply. But when she was getting out of the car she turned to us and said:
“Your child will be born in the summer of 2005.”
We were dumbfounded… It was the late fall of 1995.
We both continued our treatment for years. Then we decided to adopt a child. For some reason the old woman’s words stuck in our memory and we believed them... However, as believers we feared that the prophecy might have come from the forces of evil.
In 2000, we adopted a girl, Mariam, who made our family very happy.
But a true miracle was in store for us. Our son George was born in July 2005. Then I was forty-three, and my husband was forty-eight.
The Kviris Palitra newspaper
The church wedding that was not blessed
We had attempted to have a church wedding on several occasions, but unsuccessfully. In our day my beloved and I had run away from home (our parents were against our union) and things got rather spontaneous. When I got pregnant, we decided to formalize our relationship and marry in church. My boyfriend was a Doubting Thomas and kept saying:
“You know, I am an atheist. I don’t care about this needless ceremony! The main thing is the registry office.”
We had a heated argument because of this, since I, unlike him, hoped to receive God’s blessing for our union through this rite.
When we approached the church just before the sacrament, my husband said:
“There is something wrong with my heart. I am feeling very unwell.”
I naturally got angry:
“You have chosen this day to make me nervous?! Go into the church and behave properly!”
“Okay, no problem!” he gave way, pulled himself together and joked, addressing the best man:
“I don’t believe! I hope it will all be over soon…”
The service of holy matrimony began. But when it was time to drink from the same chalice, suddenly my husband’s eyes rolled, he collapsed, and the sacrament was disrupted. With some difficulty we brought him round, but as soon as the priest gave him the chalice to drink from, my husband fainted again. The same happened three times. However earnestly I asked him to take himself in hand and hold on, it didn’t help. When he regained consciousness, he told us that an angel in white had appeared to him and said:
“You do not believe in God and take His name in vain. You will not be able to marry in church until you become a real believer.”
So we had to leave the church without a wedding.
It became clear that it was the will of God, and I had to put up with that. Now ten years have passed. I have noticed that my other half has changed and come to believe in God. Perhaps the long-awaited day will arrive soon and the Lord will bless our union.
The Tbiliselebi magazine
A priest’s prayer
I would like to recount a miracle that occurred to me.
My boss gave me a copy of the icon of the Theotokos, “She Who Is Quick to Hear”, which helps pregnant women. I began to pray in front of it all the time and took it to the maternity home with me because the doctors had predicted a difficult labor. With great difficulty I managed to sneak the icon into the delivery room with me.
It was right after the end of the war of August 2008. A young widow whose husband had been killed in combat operations was in labor in the same room. Fr. Zaza (unfortunately, I don’t remember his surname), rector of the Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God, came up to her. As it turned out later, he had been taking care of his spiritual daughter all the time, and that is why he was let into the delivery room as an exception. Seeing my icon, Fr. Zaza was surprised and said that it was a very rare copy. Next he blessed me and wondered:
“What are you going to name your baby?”
“Nikoloz,” I replied.
The priest put his cross on my abdomen three times and said, addressing the baby:
“Nikoloz, stop tormenting your mom! Come into this world as soon as possible!”
According to the doctors the baby would be born five or six hours later, but I gave birth to my son, Nikoloz Kvitsaridze, twenty minutes later, without any complications.
The Sarke magazine
The grandson we rejected has become our only provider
I am seventy-two. I have been faithful to my moral principles all my life and always demanded the same of those around me. I used to teach at a school and everybody knew me as an upright person.
I raised two children, but, unfortunately, they didn’t take after my husband and I. But that is another subject. Now I am going to speak about a mistake of mine that I cannot forgive myself for.
I kept the traditions passed down to us from our parents. For that generation, infidelity was unthinkable. I tried to instill the same thing in my children. But, ironically, the things we try hardest to avoid befall us.
My son was unfaithful to his wife and had an affair with another woman despite the fact that he already had two children. When I learned about his affair, it was too late. And, though I was not quite satisfied with my daughter-in-law and didn’t think she was the right match for my son, I wholeheartedly took her side and did my best to put an end to this relationship.
“I will turn you out of the house!” I would threaten my son.
And I would cheer up my daughter-in-law at the same time:
“No one will destroy your family!”
Meanwhile, I dug into that woman’s past and discovered a secret my son didn’t know about. Before that he used to insist: “She is a decent woman! Do not dare say bad things about her!” Then I confronted him with a fact, revealing the details of her past to him.
It was that disclosure that caused the “desired” conflict between my son and that woman. At last he realized that his own family was the most important thing to him in the world and didn’t cheat on his wife anymore.
Before we could heave a sigh of relief, the story started anew. Three months later I learned that this rascal of a woman was expecting. It was crystal clear who the father of the child was. I burst into her home and demanded that she have an abortion. She answered that the fetus was large enough and the doctors would not take risks, so I must reconcile myself to that fact.
You can’t imagine how much I suffered and worried, as if the baby were going to die and not be born. Every day I would repeat to my son that he must not recognize that woman’s child as his son because he already had legitimate children and that was enough.
The boy was born. Of course, I didn’t go to see him, neither did I allow my son to do so; I didn’t regard this child as my grandson.
That woman made an attempt to ensure that we give our surname to her child, but we refused pointblank. She made every effort to ensure contact between her son and his father, but I stood in her way like the Wall of China.
One day she brought the child to me and said:
“Look, he is a carbon copy of your son!”
And indeed it was so. But I turned my face away from the boy and said:
“What if my son has other children with other women? We are not going to recognize them all! He has two legitimate ones, and that is sufficient.”
And she responded:
“The day will come when you will regret saying this.”
I burst out laughing cynically, and we parted. I didn’t see them again for many years. This mother and her son didn’t appear in our life for some time, we only heard some rumors about them sometimes. My son cut off contact with them as well. He became bogged down with his own problems. Besides, his wife got the upper hand, so he does everything according to her orders to this day.
My daughter-in-law brought up her daughters in hatred for me, so they don’t remember anything good I have ever done for them, though I have done a lot and even saved their family.
My granddaughters only call my daughter-in-law’s mother “granny”, they speak to me disrespectfully, and shout at me as if I were a child. We live apart. Sometimes they don’t call or come to see us, their grandparents, for a whole year. My son calls only because he feels obliged to and keeps saying that he is busy.
My daughter married abroad and she has no children.
To my great shame, now the only provider for me and my husband is the very boy who we once refused to recognize as our grandson. He bought a house next door. He came to us himself and said that he bears us no grudge. His mother is not on speaking terms with us, but at least she doesn’t forbid him to communicate with us.
He is a real man—the kind of man I wanted to see in my son. Whenever we need anything, he (as though instinctively) comes to us immediately, bringing us food, medicines, etc.
My daughter-in-law is displeased that we are on close terms with him. But I don’t care. I am trying to make up for the wrong I did him and his mother as I feel pangs of conscience.
Your faithful reader
The Sarke magazine. 26.04.2017
My happiness as other people’s happiness
I married at sixteen. I loved my husband dearly. His parents accepted me as one of their kin, and I respected them greatly too. We had two children together. But happy years flew by quickly. On exactly our eleventh wedding anniversary my husband was murdered on a train. The circumstances of his murder still remain a mystery to us—we have had to accept it.
Grief-stricken, my husband’s parents did their best to protect me from any problems and helped me raise my children. I was devastated by my husband’s death and could not imagine how to go on living. My parents-in-law could see my suffering. Their personal tragedy was aggravated by the fact that they had no one in the whole world apart from me and their grandchildren. A year later I gathered myself up and came to work. I was often told: “You still can remarry. You are rather young.” I had suitors too, but I rejected everybody.
Soon I was intrigued by one thing. My parents-in-law, who were homebodies, began to go and visit someone very frequently. Of course, I didn’t ask them about anything. One day a handsome young man whom I had never seen before came to our place. My husband’s parents welcomed him very cordially. In a nutshell, my in-laws (who could not imagine their life without me and didn’t want me to leave them) themselves found a future husband for me!
“You are our daughter, and this young man will be like a son to us. So our life will be in your hands.”
First I tried to protest, but my in-laws talked me into marrying him. And their “son-in-law” proved to justify their choice completely. He brought warmth and happiness to our family.
About ten years have passed. Our relations have become even more beautiful. And we have two children together. Our parents-in-law are near us all the time and they always call my husband “our son”. We repay their love with love. After all, they put my happiness above their own grief. I believe that God sent them to me so that I could feel happy.
The Sarke magazine