Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)
- TITLE: See With Your Heart
By Carolyn Kenney
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The early morning sun peeked through the clouds in the azure sky above. Ben Miller walked slowly towards the back of Saint Anne’s church. For fifteen years he had been the caretaker of the church and property. As Ben approached the back door of the large brick church, he saw a someone lying on the ground. “Who is that?” Ben wondered to himself. As Ben got closer, he jumped back as the person began to move. The man lying on the ground was dressed in rags. He was unshaven as his beard attested to and his hair was unkempt. Ben realized he had to tell someone and quickly raced into the church where Father Jim had just finished celebrating mass.
“Ben,” said Father Jim. “What is it? What is the matter? Your face is white!”
“You won’t believe this,” said Ben. “but there is a homeless man behind the church.”
“A homeless man!” said the priest. “Where? Show me!”
As they walked out the door and approached the back of the church, the man was slowly getting to his feet.
Ben said, “Father, he is over there. What does he want?”
“Don’t worry,” said Father Jim. “Can’t you see he is harmless?” Approaching the man, the priest held out his hand and said gently, “I am Father Jim. What is your name?”
Lifting his eyes and looking at the priest the man said, “My name is David.”
“It is nice to meet you, David. Where are you from?” asked the priest.
“I have traveled from Florida and am on my way to Boston. My cousin invited me to stay with him for a while. He offered me a job and a room until I can get on my feet again. I needed a safe place to stay for the night. I saw the church and knew I would be fine here.”
“You were right, Jim. God sees you and will always watch over you with His merciful love. Come with me. You must be hungry.” said Father Jim. Together he and David walked to the rectory while Ben followed closely behind.
Inside David was fixed a breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast. Father Jim sat beside David and said, “You are less than an hour from Boston. Why don’t you wash up? Here is money enough for a train ticket to Boston with a little left over for lunch. Would you like to call your cousin and let him know you are on your way?”
“Yes Father, that would be wonderful! But, I cannot accept this money. I have walked so far already and another few miles won’t hurt.” David laughed for the first time in months.
“David, I can see you are a good man. I am happy to be able to help you in this small way. Is there anything else we can do for you?”
At that moment Ben placed some money into David’s hands also. He said in a choked voice, “Buy yourself some new clothes, David. When you are settled, I hope you come back for a visit sometime.”
“I hope you will come to mass sometime soon, David,” said Father Jim. “I look forward to seeing you after you are settled at your cousin’s house.”
David said with joy, “Thank you both for your kindness! I can see you are both caring people. I’ll come back - soon!”
Later on that day, Ben saw Father Jim going into the church and stopped him saying, “Father, when I saw that man this morning, I admit that I was very concerned. But then I saw how you were concerned for his welfare. You did not simply walk by and say ’that’s not my problem’ like so many others would do. Your attitude changed my heart.”
“Ben,” said Father Jim. “We must see people not only with our physical sight, but with our heart as well. Remember, your heart will always guide you to do the right thing.”
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