Thursday, October 27, 2005

More travels around the pond

Here's another story about someone I met walking around the pond a couple weeks ago.
I noticed a short distance ahead of me a man walking his toddler in a stroller. He had stopped for a moment to give her a drink of water from a bottle, and he also had a little fluffy dog on a leash. There was something about the gentle way he was taking care of his little girl, along with the dog looking at them, patiently waiting, that was very touching.
As I walked closer and was going past I smiled at them, and he said, "Sister, will you bless my baby?" So I stopped and said a spontaneous prayer asking God to bless her and her family. I think he was Catholic because he mentioned something about Pope John Paul, but he may have been from the Eastern rite. He had an accent but spoke very good English, in a slow and deliberate way. Then he asked me if I knew this particular prayer before a crucifix written by St. Francis. It was a beautiful prayer that he then recited, asking for the three virtues of faith, hope and charity. Then he also prayed the more familiar prayer of St. Francis, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace."
His faith was so evident that I felt very blessed to have met him, even if only for a few brief moments. It was like meeting Christ along the way. God puts different people along our path, some to encourage us, some because they may need our help, and some just as a gift.

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