My track record has proven that my faith can manifest almost anything I desire. I’ve tested this theory from the supernatural (prayer changes things) to the superficial. A couple of tangible items my faith has relinquished include acquiring ownership of a vacation timeshare for $99 valued at $30,000 and a $45,000 Buick Enclave that I won on a TV show.
I also exercise my faith for trivial items, such as concert tickets. Every time my eyes lock on one of those radio station mobiles, I’ve been known to walk away with something free in my palm. I always believe I’m going to win and as a result, I usually do. But, in June of 2014, things didn’t look like they were going in my favor.
Chicago’s Pop chart FM station 96.3, also known as B96, had a mobile at the Walgreens on the corner of 87th and Kedzie Avenue. It was swarming with people attempting to win a pair of Summer Bash concert tickets. I figured whatever prize I gained could take care of the expenses for a much needed child-free evening out for me and my husband, Don.
I hurriedly scribbled my info onto the entry ticket. I had a smolder face as I placed it inside the fishbowl. It was just before 2 p.m., the last drawing of the day. This 20-something dude in skinny jeans was yelling out contest rules. “The form must be filled out in its entirety with accurate information,” he snapped. He was a radio station disc jockey with a drill sergeant personality. Once all entries were obtained, he started announcing winners. I moved to the front, certain I’d be called. Three pair of tickets were awarded and I wasn’t one of them.
So it seemed!
I thought, “That can’t be right. I always win.” Dumbfounded by the upset, I just stood there. The crowd quickly dissipated. Those that remained were the B96 employees and the rightful winners of the drawing. I didn’t leave because I couldn’t accept that my name hadn’t been called. My reputation was on the line, I had assured Don I’d be home with something good.
As I stared disappointedly as the winners collected their prizes, my attention turned to Mr. skinny-jeans. “The address on your contest entry doesn’t match your driver’s license,” he scolded. “Your entry is disqualified.” He then turned to those of us still present and pulled another name from the fishbowl.
Yep -- my name! I was the only eligible contestant because the others present had already won and were filling out prize claim forms. The concert took place at Toyota Park on June, 14, 2014 and included Jennifer Lopez (J. Lo) , Pitt Bull, Austin Mahone, Jason Derulo, Iggy Azalea, Little Mix, Chelle Rae, Icona Pop and G.R.L.
Don and I had no idea who 80 percent of the lineup even was. It wasn’t an ideal date for a couple in their 40s. We were surrounded by screaming teenagers who wept at the sight of some of the acts. We cried too, from laughing hysterically. We got into a groove when J. Lo came on stage though, finally someone from our era. “Next time I’ll be more specific in the criteria I desire when I put my faith in motion,” I told Don.
He and I have been together for 18 years and married for 14. Throughout the years he’s seen God move various times in our lives as a result of my faith. He said, “Your faith gives you special powers, now you just need to hone it and start believing we’re going to be millionaires.”
I have bigger things to believe in God for than money. I have faith that my daughter, Rhonda-Rene, who has a severe language disorder called apraxia, will one day speak effortlessly. I have faith that my siblings, whom I lost connection with after the passing of our mother, and I will reunite and re-establish the closeness we once shared. I have faith that my memoir, “Becoming a Mother While Losing My Own,” will gain international success and perhaps even grace the silver screen.
And while it may appear to many that I’m standing dumbfounded, refusing to accept the reality before me, I will remain immovable in my faith just like I did on the corner of 87th and Kedzie. As long as I don’t move, I will hear the voice of authority call my name and reward me with what I’ve been waiting for.
Claudia Parker is an Evergreen Park mother, author and runner whose columns appear in The Reporter.