I was busy, stressed and prayer-less shopping at a supermarket when one of the employees called me out persistently, at least 3-4 times, ‘insisting’ I stop right there and turn around. Why? … She wanted to greet me with “Christ is Risen!”
I finally met that person I had spent the whole day judging and quarrelling about with my family. How dare he try to solve that problem, my problem –my pain and my suffering– in a different way than I would? … He was right! Not only did he also help me but he did so gently, with a great sense of humour and compassion.
I was walking back home when a wretched, ragged beggar stopped me and asked for a little money. “Excuse me, ma’am. Please help me. I have not had anything to eat for the last two days!” He followed me pleading for quite some time. My heart was cold and I gave him nothing. I only turned back and looked at him perplexed at the softness of his voice. Then, he looked me in the eyes and gently blessed me: “May the Theotokos intercede for you and keep you under Her Protecting Veil!” Ashamed, I changed my mind and decided to give him a little money, but … too late! He vanished before my eyes!
* Text by C. Photo by Jason Tiilikainen