December 2016 I received a telephone call from a desperate mother who asked help for one of her sons. The lawsuit against him had been heard in court and he was sentenced to 11 month under house arrest. She couldn’t take him in because she didn’t have a house and nobody else wanted to have him. I was her only hope, and I just couldn’t look the other way in front of this request. What to do?
Three days later when I was about to make a few phone calls to find somebody who could help me out, someone knocked on the door. It was someone who comes often to see us. I welcomed him in, made him a cup of coffee and we began to talk. Then he asked me: “What were you doing just now?” Something inside me made me tell him about the situation. And he says: “But couldn’t I do it?” He had a small apartment, but he would sleep in the living room and leave his bed to the boy. The next day he took care of all the bureaucratic matters. The months flew by. We took food to them twice a week, since he wasn’t very well-off financially. And all it took for God to perform veritable miracles was a yes from me.
(N.C. – Italy)
I could look him in the eyes
One day, while I was on my way to school, I was mugged by a group of boys in an underpass. They kicked me and punched me and threw me on the ground. They wanted my cell phone. When they finally went away, I couldn’t get up because of the pain in my body and in my soul. I wondered: “Why me?” My anger and resentment mounted. I told some friends at school about the incident, but none of them appreciated my pain, and that bothered me. The next few nights I couldn’t sleep, almost crying with anger as I watched that scene in the underpass playing out over and over again in my mind as if in a film. It was only some time later that I was able to talk about it with some friends who, like me, are trying to live the Gospel. Confiding it to them helped me to do what at first seemed impossible: to my aggressors. When I went to court to identify them at the trial, I felt I had forgiven them in my heart without any difficulty, I could look them straight in the eyes.
(From T. Minuta’s blog)
Appearances can be deceiving
I had to go downtown to do some shopping and didn’t have much time. Suddenly I heard somebody asking me for money. I generally don’t give money. You can’t help everyone, and they might spend it on drugs. The boy’s head was shaven, and he had a dark gaze. I had the feeling he was one of the boys who had mugged me years before. I walked faster. But, a block later, I began to wonder: How can I think I’m cultivating union with God and, at the same time, neglect this boy who asked me for help?” I turned around and looked for the boy. “What is it you need?” I asked him. Totally surprised, he told me that he was thirsty. I invited him to have a seat in a coffee shop. He answered all my questions with a dry “yes” or “no”. I thought I might tell him about my own experiences and effort at getting used to a new country. He didn’t seem interested, and I was a bit discouraged. When I stood up to go, he said: “Why don’t you keep on talking? No one has ever told me the story of their life? It’s a new experience for me, and I have to get used to it. Tell me about your country. Why did you come here?” I ordered another hot chocolate and we sat there for another two hours. In the end we gave each other a hug. On my way home I entrusted to Jesus that kid whose name I didn’t even know.
(U.K. – Argentina)