Gloves and Grace…

“I am a 14 year old Grade 9 student at the Highland Junior High School in Toronto, Canada. Recently, I had, I hope, the good fortune of experiencing Bhagawan’s Grace. I told it to my parents. They were very pleased. They shared it with some of their friends at Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Toronto. One of them suggested that I should share the episode with the readers of ‘Sanathana Sarathi’,” wrote little Priya Kumar from Canada, sharing his own experience of Bhagawan’s Divinity…. From Sanathana Sarathi, August 1987.

On Sunday mornings I deliver 35-40 newspapers in my neighbourhood. These are morning papers, so I have to deliver them before 8 a.m. But Sunday, February 15, 1987, was an extremely cold morning. The temperature was 23 degree Celsius. There was also a chill wind, which made the temperature seem even worse. As usual, I started out with my load of newspapers in a shopping cart accompanied by my pet dog, Snowball. Snowball is fluffy, white Samoyed, an Arctic breed. But the weather was so cruel that I thought even my Arctic companion was not enjoying the walk. His breath was freezing on his whiskers and I had some fun breaking them off.

Very soon the fun ended as the cold began piercing through my padded coat and gloves. Since I was pushing the metal bar of the shopping cart, I felt more cold in my fingers and they began to hurt. Rather carelessly I had worn my thin gloves instead of the thick ones. I could have turned back and gone home for the second pair of gloves, but foolishly I did not and continued on my round.

I was about half way through my route when the pain in my fingers became unbearable. I feared my fingers could get frostbite. I thought of returning, but I would have had to walk the same distance back! Also, the papers had to be delivered before 8 a.m. and I was running out of time. I felt like crying. I wished my father or mother would drive by so that I could get a ride. I wished I had the other pair of gloves so that I could save my fingers. All the while, I was praying to Baba to somehow help me. But nothing seemed to work.

I realized that it was impossible to continue any further. Reluctantly, I decided to return home. I thought, I would deliver one last paper that was in my hand and then return home. I was about to walk up to a house to deliver that paper, when, lo and behold, barely a few feet from where I stood, I saw a pair of beautiful jet-black gloves! I jumped with joy!

Then I thought; if they had been lying there overnight they would be frozen stiff and could be useless. Anyway I picked them up. To my utter surprise, I found they were not frozen! In fact, they were as though they had just been dropped there! I wore them over my gloves and they fitted me perfectly!

I looked around to see whether there was anyone who could have accidentally dropped them there. But the street was deserted. The neighbourhood was still asleep on that cold Sunday morning. Who could have walked through there so early in the morning, I wondered. In any case, anyone accidentally dropping the gloves in that weather would at once miss them! It was so very cold!

I said, “Thank You Baba!” finished my paper route and returned home to get ready to attend my Bal Vikas class.

(In August 1986, I had accompanied my parents to Puttaparthi. On the third and final day of our visit, during the morning darshan Baba had come to where my mother and I were sitting, had materialized Vibhuti and put it in my mother’s palm and on my forehead. Now I know what He meant when He gave me that Vibhuti!)