Signing a blank cheque, making a leap in the dark … trusting in God can often appear just too big a challenge to us and we don’t find the courage or strength to try. By recognising how small we are, asking help and allowing someone to take care of us with tenderness, we can find a way to recognise the providential Love of a Father who will never abandon us. And we in turn can circulate this love in the world.
Our house was half-destroyed by an earthquake, so my children and I were sleeping out in the open air and we had next to nothing to eat. One morning I had literally nothing to cook, but placing my trust in God who is our Father, I set a pot of water on the fire. Just as it was about to boil, someone arrived carrying a bag full of fruit and vegetables. No sooner had I started to cook soup than another friend knocked at the door bringing us some meat and a little rice! When my children came home from school they couldn’t believe it and asked, “What’s happened, Mum? You told us there wouldn’t be anything to eat today”. So I told the whole story to them, and even though they claim not to believe in God any more, they heard how my prayers had been answered. However, it didn’t end there. After lunch, I felt drawn to ask Jesus to send me someone in need so I could share the food we’d received with them. The very next day I met a young man who asked me if I could give him a piece of bread. I welcomed him with love, and even if he was anxious not to abuse our hospitality because he could see how poor we were, I made him sit down at our table and I served lunch to him.
(Lusby – Colombia)
A circuit of Love
Arriving at university one day, I bumped into an old man dressed in rags, nearly blind, covered in open wounds because he kept falling over. And he was so dirty. In him, I saw the image of Christ on the cross. I helped him up and asked if he’d like to take a bath. I went into the university compound and somehow found the courage to ask the Rector, a devout Muslim, for permission to use his own personal bathroom because it was the only one with a bathtub, so that the old man could take a bath with my assistance. He was certainly surprized by my request! But he not only agreed but also personally provided the old man with soap. I then escorted the old man to his home, bought him some food and gave his room a much-needed clean up. The next day the Rector called me to his office to explain my motivation for what I had done. I told him how the choice to love our neighbour united millions of people of all religions. He was very interested in getting to know more, and he gave a contribution to buy some essentials for the old man. That’s not all. Some of my fellow students who had witnessed the whole scene put some money together to buy new clothes for him.
(Bassam – Iraq)
For a while I’ve been helping a boy from a poor family I’d met during our mission to the Kakuma refugee camp in the north east of Kenya, paying his school fees. Sadly the moment arrived when I couldn’t sustain this help anymore and I told him of my own financial difficulties. A little while later this same boy appealed to me again for help, which made me suffer even more because I couldn’t help him. So I took the decision to sell the one cow I was keeping at my parents’ house and use the money for his schooling. Naturally he was delighted to get back to school. One day in the parish I’ve been serving for nearly a year, a group of parishioners arrived to visit me because they’d heard my father was unwell. Among the gifts they brought were not one but three cows! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought of the promise of the Gospel: “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.
(Father David – Kenya)
collated by Maria Grazia Berretta
(from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, anno VII, n.4, settembre-ottobre 2021)