|My heart, your gift | amalgamationspp.com|
Somewhere in a small province, there lived a young boy who would follow this route to school everyday: He has to cross rugged plains and pass along dangerous highway where vehicles recklessly drive by.
Across this highway, the boy would take a short cut, passing by the church every morning to say "Hi!" to God, and faithfully say his, "Good morning, God." A Priest was happy to observe this daily and found the sweet innocence uplifting.
"How are you John? Going to school?" "Yes, father," he would flash his innocent grin, and the priest would be touched. He was concerned about the boy and so one day he talked to John.
"From school," he advised "Do not cross the highway, you can pass through the church and I can accompany you to the other side of the road. That way I can see that you are home safe."
"Thank you father."
"Why don't you go home. Why do you stay in this church right after school?"
"I just want to say 'Hi' to my friend, God." And the priest would leave the boy to spend time beside the altar, talking to himself. One time, the priest hid behind the altar to listen to what the boy has to say to his Heavenly Father.
"You know my Math exam was pretty bad today, but I did not cheat although my seatmate was bullying me for notes. I ate one cracker and drank my water, papa had a bad season and all I can eat is this cracker.
Thank you for this! I saw a poor kitten who was hungry and I know how he feels so I gave my last cracker to him. Funny, but I am not that hungry.
Look, this is my last pair of slippers. I may have to walk barefoot next week, you see this is about to be broken. But it is okay, at least I am still going to school. Some say we will have a hard season this month, some of my classmates have already stopped going to school. Please help them get to school again, please God?
You know, mama hit me again, it is painful, but I know this pain will pass away, at least I still have a mother. God, you want to see my bruises? I know you can heal them, here, here and oh, blood. I guess you knew about this one, huh?
Please don't be mad at her, she is just tired and she worries for the food in our table and my schooling that is why she hits us. Oh, I think I am in love. There's this pretty girl in my class, her name is Anna. Do you think she will like me?
Anyway, at least I know you will always like me, I don't have to be anybody just to please you. You are my very best friend! Hey your birthday is two days from now! Aren't you excited? I am! Wait until you see, I have a gift for you. But it's a surprise! I hope you will like it! Oops, I have to go."
He stood up and calls out, "Father, father I'm finished talking to my friend. You can accompany me to the other side of the road now."
This routine happened everyday. John never failed. Father Mark shared this every Sunday to the people in the church because he has never seen such pure faith and trust in God, a very positive look at negative situations.
On Christmas day, father Mark was sick and couldn't make it to the Church, he was sent to the hospital. The church was left to devout Christian women who would chant the rosary so fast it was almost unrecognizable. They would not smile and seemed to always find faults in what others did. They were also very well-versed in cursing when irritated. They were kneeling, saying their rosary when John, coming from his Christmas party, excitedly dashing in.
"Hello God! I..."
"Shut up you obnoxious kid! Can't you see we're praying? Go away!"
Poor John was so terrified, "Where is father Mark? He is going to help me cross the street. But before that, I have to greet Jesus. It's His birthday, I have a gift right here."
He had tucked the gift inside his shirt, and just as he was about to show it, the old lady pulled him by his shirt and threw him out of the church.
"Go away or you'll get hurt!"
The boy had no choice but to cross the dangerous part of the road in front of the church.
As he was crossing, a fast moving bus was speeding by a blind curve.
The boy was protecting his gift inside his shirt, so he was not looking. There was so little time to run. He was hit, and John died on the spot.
Many people crowded the poor boy, lifeless and still.
Out of nowhere a tall man in a pure white shirt and pants, a face so mild and gentle, but with eyes full of tears. He came and carried the boy in His arms. He was crying. The curious bystanders nudged the man in white, and asked, "Excuse me sir, are you related to this child? Do you know this child?"
The man in white, His face mourning in agony, looked up and answered, "He was my best friend," was all he said. He took a badly wrapped gift in the bloody chest of the lifeless boy, and placed it near His heart.
He stood up and carried the boy away and they both disappeared in sight. Leaving the crowd wondering and curious.
On Christmas Eve, father Mark learned of the shocking news. He visited John's house, and wanted to talk to his parents and ask about the man in white.
"How did you know that your son died?" "A man in white brought him here," sobbed the mother.
"And what did he say?" Asked the priest.
The father answered, "He did not say anything. He was mourning. We do not know him and yet he was very lonely about our son's death, as if he knew our son very well. But there was something peaceful and unexplainable about him. He brushed my son's hair away from his face and kissed him on his forehead. Then he whispered something."
"What did he say?"
"He said to my boy," the father began, "Thank you for the gift. I will see you soon, you will be with me." The father of the boy continued, "And you know, for a while, it felt so wonderful. I cried, but I do not know why. All I know is I cried tears of joy. I could not explain it, but when that man left, something peaceful came over me. I felt a sense of love inside. I could not explain the joy in my heart. And I know my boy is in heaven now.
But tell me, father, who is this man that my son talks to everyday in your church, you should know because you're always there, except at the time of his death."
Father Mark suddenly felt tears welling in his eyes, with trembling knees, he murmurred, "At the church, he always talked to no one, but God."