Our beloved Rottweiler, Coco, had been poisoned and was helplessly convulsing in Katelyn's arms.
Meanwhile Lucifer, the young man who stole my wedding ring, was settling into his space around the breakfast table as the group awaited yummy American pancakes. Little did we know, this would be the beginning of a real friendship.
After breakfast, I gave a talk on love and forgiveness. I optimistically hoped that Lucifer would see the error of his ways and decide to not steal anymore ~ at least not from us. However, everyone knows that bad habits are hard to break. Shortly after my evangelistic talk I had to leave the room for a few minutes; at which point Lucifer went into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator to see if there was anything he wanted. A bottle of yogurt caught his attention and found its way into his hands. As he was considering options for concealment the others saw him and insisted he put it back; which he did.
I began on the street where he's often seen, but nobody would admit to knowing him. One person finally redirected me to the street by the cemetery. Upon arriving, I questioned everyone I saw, but they claimed ignorance. I suppose people prefer to stay away from trouble.
After many failed attempts to find Lucifer's house, I stumbled upon someone willing to help after he learned that I only had a gift to share. At Lucifer's door I was greeted with apprehension by his family members. When Lucifer approached the door, he too was reluctant and confused. When I presented him with the bottle of yogurt, I simply said, "I have a present for you. I thought you might enjoy this for breakfast." He blushed and started laughing. "Yes, I would", he said with a huge smile. I pointed out that it was even cold from being in our refrigerator. Again, he laughed and held the yogurt to his chest like a prized possession. Before I left I reminded him to simply ask me if there is anything else he needs.
A couple days later Lucifer came to our house again (without his marijuana hat on- yippee), accompanied by his younger brother William. They humbly asked if I might be able to help them out. William had no street shoes, only sandals and dress-shoes for school. Lucifer explained that there was something he'd really like, although admitted it wasn't a "need". Without further interrogation, I agreed to take them into town later in the week. Every day after that Lucifer arrived with "the guys" on their way to the soccer field. He has been cheerful and friendly. When he comes into our home he always "presents himself", which is a custom here. He shakes my hand, exchanges pleasantries and thanks me for having him. With each subsequent visit he has become more and more comfortable.
|Lucifer - Javier - William (Lucifer's brother)|
Yesterday, I took the guys to Bellavista, which is the bigger town a bit south of us. We started with Williams' shoes. As he was trying on the few different styles available in his size, Lucifer quietly asked If I could possibly get him "chanpun". Unfamiliar with this slang term for soccer cleats, I had no idea what he desired. Thankfully, Javier was there to help. They explained that they both play soccer as a way to earn money for their families. Without cleats it's hard to compete against those that do. When I agreed, they both started giggling and eagerly asked the saleswoman which ones she had in their size. I'm not sure if either of them have ever had "real" soccer shoes, but they were awfully excited either way!!
|Lucifer (in the red/white stripes) was excited to find a match.|
As I continue to pray for Lucifer, I am drawn to the image of Divine Mercy. As I recall my assumption that Lucifer stole my rings for drug money, I am acutely aware of my own sinfulness.
"...and forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us..."
I pray for the grace I need to be endlessly merciful to others, as God has been merciful to me.
In Matthew 18:22 Jesus tells us that we must forgive our brothers not seven times, but seventy-seven times. We will continue to invite Lucifer into our home. We will continue to love him, even if he steals from us again. We will continue to pray that he sees the love of Jesus in our simple acts of kindness and begins to desire that love from Jesus Himself.
Please join us in prayer ~ that we're able to keep our hearts open to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, who will help us shepherd our new little Lost Sheep.
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