Trixie, Joe, Lea and Marie found themselves in Vancouver for the Christmas holidays on what was a rare but well planned family reunion. The four young adult cousins in their 20’s happily decide to do some of their bonding at a bar in Yaletown, an upscale restaurant district in Vancouver.
At around midnight as they left the bar with just the right amount of inebriation to keep them in a great mood, they noticed that there were some snow flurries coming down. While Trixie, a Vancouverite, may find this quite common in the winter, her three cousins from Manila were quite excited by the experience as there is no such thing as snow in the tropics of the Philippines.
Just outside the bar, there was also a homeless paraplegic stranger in a wheelchair begging for spare change. I’ll refer to him as Mr. W. He approached them. They ignored him. He came closer. They moved farther from him, as the cousins continued taking selfies and documenting their winter experience. He slowly continued to move closer encroaching into their space while they continued to move farther. Marie was not paying attention to how close he was getting that Trixie had to call her attention: “ Marie! Marie!” Marie looks and realizes that Mr. W was catching up on her. They started to move away faster, headed for the Skytrain where there were stairs going down. They figured he would not be able to follow them with his wheelchair. They didn’t expect though that he could move faster than expected. They had to move quickly. But Mr. W was also yelling: “ Marie! Marie!” while chasing after them.
Now he also knew Marie’s name. He was calling her by name. They were more intimidated. Although Mr. W seemed like a helpless stranger in a wheelchair, they still feared his aggression. They didn’t know how to counter harassment from strangers, no matter what the circumstances were. So they moved faster. He continued to chase them in his wheelchair, yelling “ Marie! Marie!”
They finally came to the steps going down to the train station and hastily arrived at the landing. They were somehow relieved. The stranger was atop the stairs, helpless. He couldn’t move down further. He seemed angry. He grumbled. He tossed something at them.
It was a glove.
Marie looked at her hands. She was missing a glove. It was her glove. She dropped it while taking selfies. Mr. W, the sick stranger, homeless, cold and hungry, just wanted to give back the missing glove. The four cousins stare at each other. Their hearts sank in sadness. They also knew why.
This feeling of sadness is so real. It is part of a pilgrim’s journey in seeking God’s Kingdom. It is through these sad feelings that one can experience consolation, an inner movement of the heart that brings you closer to God. Even in sadness, God’s grace abounds.
Mt 25:37-40: Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’ And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’
May you have a Blessed Christmas!