Sally Quinn never put much faith in faith. “Even at age 6, when I was forced to go to Sunday school, I never believed in God,” the Washington Post journalist tells O magazine. “At 13 I learned the word ‘atheist’ and announced to my parents that’s what I was.” When her son, Quinn Bradlee, was born with a hole in his heart, Quinn found herself praying fervently for his life. “Nothing happened. I didn’t feel anything. No sense of comfort, no feeling of being embraced. I didn’t try praying again.” For the next decade, as Quinn Bradlee experienced nonstop medical and learning problems, his mother sought no spiritual solace. But in 1992, at a California spa, she became fascinated by a huge labyrinth that was traced on the ground. She was told to walk it focusing on something important to her. “I entered the labyrinth and walked very deliberately toward the center, holding an image of a normal healthy Quinn.” Surrounded by soaring oaks, bathed in the sun’s warmth, Quinn had a revelation. “The tears came streaming down my face as I saw my gorgeous little boy, smiling, his arms outstretched, reassuring me that he was going to be just fine.” Quinn Bradlee has since grown to manhood, and Quinn herself now sees divinity in the everyday world. “My image of God may not be the personal God so many pray to. But, yes, I do believe in the everyday preciousness of life. That is what I call God.”
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