Snow White

Dear Editor:

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who would never say she was the fairest in the land; rather, she would ask you to be her friend. She loved the mountains and lived there with the animals she loved, too. She was named after the mountains her parents loved and after her grandmother, Jane: Sierra Jane; Mountain of God’s graciousness.

Pagosa, you are a catalyst for a miracle. Your prayers, your faith, your care, have proven what Sean always teaches in his class: Love is the most powerful force in the universe.

This is more than a thank you letter; this is an exceptional occasion of a town demonstrating community.

In our darkest hours when we thought we were going to lose Sierra, we felt your prayers, and we felt your arms around us. We are touched by you, Pagosa, and so humbled, because did you know how alone we felt? Even before this terrible event occurred, we were growing in hopelessness every day, believing a dark poisonous lie: we’re alone.

You proved us wrong. Now you are part of our story forever. The first night in the hospital, Dr. White and Dr. Snow worked together and concluded that Sierra had bubonic plague. The crisp metaphor of Snow White began. Without knowing the extent of its significance, some of you sent a beautiful Snow White prayer quilt along with this letter:

As you probably know, Snow White was a very beautiful young lady. She had a very sweet and giving heart. Animals loved her as did everyone who knew her … except the wicked stepmother. She thought that by killing Snow White, she could claim to be the most beautiful person in the land. She gave Snow White a poison apple, one that, like her, was beautiful on the outside but rotten on the inside. Snow White ate it and became very ill. Some thought she had died. But she had one very important weapon against evil. That weapon was love. In the end, love saved her.

You are like Snow White who has been saved from a very nasty disease by love. You have received God’s love in many, many ways. Your dad and sisters who rushed you to the hospital, your mom who has stayed by your side, the doctors and nurses who found the right drugs to give you to make you well, the hundreds of people who have been praying for you, the wonderful people who have sent you cards and gifts, the folks who have contributed money to help pay the doctors, the people who helped move your things into your new house, all of these acts of love are because we love you and your family so much.

Thousands of years ago King Solomon wrote, “… love is as strong as death” (Song of Songs 8:6). Because of you, because of your love, we know it’s true, and we are forever in your debt.

Sean, Darcy, Brianna, Tiarra and Sierra Jane Downing

This story was posted on September 26, 2012.