Unexpected treasures

March 1, 2022 - 12:00am -- Living City

Unexpected treasures

As my restful afternoon slowly slipped away…

By Jady Giacobbe

It had been a busy week for me, and I was feeling unusually tired at the start of the day. I promised myself I would find a way to rest and recharge. It was a rainy day, and I was sure that the weather was adding to my lack of initiative and energy. The other members of my community were out at work.

The day went by slowly, and I heard our next-door neighbors outside with their visitors from North Africa. They were leaving for an outing. 

I let my thoughts float to the kitchen, where I went to take out some ground meat and spaghetti sauce for dinner. It seemed like an easy supper to fix and there would only be three of us home for dinner.

It started to rain again; this time it was harder than it had been all day so far. I sat down on the sofa in the den to read something relaxing. 

Suddenly it seemed like there was a jumble at the front door, and soon afterwards the doorbell rang. Who would be out in this downpour, I wondered, as I reluctantly opened the door. 

It was our neighbor Sabah, desperate. There was quite a bunch of people, including a baby, all completely soaked. “My husband took the keys to the house with him by accident,” she said. He was a taxi driver and never could really say when he would be home. “I can’t get him on the phone. He must have a customer…” 

 “Come in, come in,” I said, hoping that I would get the energy needed to welcome them. I told them to make themselves at home, showed them the bathroom and brought towels and dry sweatshirts. 

My restful afternoon was slowly slipping away… But I decided that that did not matter. What mattered was to try to treat them as though they were Jesus. Because they were. 

Some of the sweatshirts and hoodies did not exactly fit, but at least they were dry. And they inevitably started to nap in the den. 

When I saw them, all sleeping peacefully, it gave me so much energy and joy. This scene was certainly not what I planned for that day. But perhaps I helped them in a small way to find a home here so far from their home.

I went into the kitchen, and since no one knew when the husband would come home from work, I started to cook dinner for the crowd. When my guests woke up, they accepted gladly, right away.

As I started setting the table and heating up the sauce, I realized that I was not tired anymore. On the contrary, I felt energized. 

Shortly the other members of my community arrived home from work, but they did not even need to help — our guests had helped me do everything. 

This was the beginning of a friendship, far from being planned, that opened my heart and my mind to a culture quite different from mine. Before they went back to their country, they came to say good bye. But we remained in touch: they would often send photos for us to see. The baby was growing, and they were doing well, as the situation in their country had improved. 

From my simple acts of kindness that I did the day that I met them, I received wonderful friends in return. I was sure they would always remain that way. And so, it has.

If you are interested to read more articles like this: