House Arrest

December 2016 – I received a phone call from a desperate mother who was asking me to help her son. The lawsuit against him had been decided in court and he was now sentenced to 11 months 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 before this request I just couldn’t look the other way. 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 a person 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 boy. And he says: “But couldn’t I do it?” He had a small apartment, so he would sleep in the living room and leave his bed to the boy. The next day he took care of all the bureaucratic details. The months flew by. We bring food to them twice a week, since my friend isn’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 on my way to school, I was mugged by a group of boys in an underpass. They kicked and punched me and threw me on the ground. Then they got my cell phone. When they finally left, I couldn’t get up because of the pain in my body and 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 that scene in the underpass played out over and over again in my mind as if in a film.

It was only sometime later that I was able to share it with other friends who, like me, are trying to live the Gospel. Confiding it to them helped me to do what at first seemed impossible: to forgive my aggressors. When I later went to court to identify them at the trial, I felt I had already forgiven them in my heart, and I could look them straight in the eyes.

(From T. Minuta’s blog)

Appearances can be deceiving

Having to go downtown to do some shopping, I was in a hurry. 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 look about him. I had the feeling he was one of the boys who had mugged me years before, so I walked faster. But, a block later, I began to wonder: How could I think of cultivating union with God and, at the same time, neglect this boy who asked me for help?” I turned around and looked for him.

“What is it you need?” I asked. Totally surprised, he told me that he was thirsty. I invited him to have a coffee. He answered all my questions with a dry “yes” or “no”. I thought I might share my own experiences and efforts to get used to a new country. He didn’t seem interested, and I was a bit discouraged. However, 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 before. 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 talked for two more hours. In the end we hugged each other. Later, on my way home I entrusted to Jesus that kid whose name I didn’t even know.

(U.K., Argentina)

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