Sometimes reality is more ingenious than fiction. Being a carpenter, he built some crates for the clothes the Church was sending to an orphanage in China. On his way home, he reached his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. He mentally replayed his earlier actions and immediately realized what had happened. The glasses were heading for China – they must have slipped out of his pocket!
He was very upset because times were difficult and he had just spent good money for those pair of glasses. His instinctive reaction was, “Why God? I have been doing a good action and now I am worse off!”
Several months later, the priest in charge of the orphanage came to visit the parish to thank the parishioners for supporting this noble cause. In front of a packed Church, he spoke lengthily about how appropriate and opportune were the gifts they sent to China. He finished by saying, “But most of all, I would like to thank you for the glasses you sent! I had just had my glasses smashed by the Communist police when they ransacked the orphanage. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day. We did pray a lot about this. Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top.”
To make sure that his words sink in well, the priest made a long pause before adding, “Folks, when I tried the glasses, it was as though they had been custom made just for me. I want to thank you for being part of that.” The people listened, however they were sure the priest must be confusing the churches. There were no glasses on the list of items that they had sent. But sitting quietly at the back, with tears streaming down his face, this ordinary carpenter realized that the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.
A slip-up or providence working mysteriously?
There was this single woman who after taking care of her father and mother in their old age, when they died, she decided to take care of her invalid uncle who used to live with them. He was a very mean, grumpy man. “He was very cruel, I never heard him say thank you once. I fixed his breakfast; he liked warm meals, so I rushed home at lunch and fixed his lunch. I would go home from work and never in the eight years he lived after the demise of my parents, do I remember him saying anything kind to me. He cursed me if it was not to his liking or if I was a few minutes late. He was a bitter angry man.”
When he died, some of her work mates said, “Well, why don’t you be honest and admit that you are glad he is dead! Now you can have a life of your own. You can start dating and have a normal life.” She retorted, “You do not understand. I loved my uncle.” “What?! You loved him, mean and cruel?” “Yes I loved him.”
It is possible. It is possible.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.