Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reflections of Roma-Day Five; Helping on Both Sides of the Pond

On our last full day we took a taxi with another couple over to the Spanish Steps. The flowers were gorgeous, and high-end stores like Gucci were surrounding the area.

I loved seeing all the horse-drawn carriages. Rome is the city of lovers; even the horses were kissing!

We went to a beautiful church and also listened to a street guitarist.

Next we headed to the Jewish Ghetto.Did you know the original meaning of the word came from Rome? "An area of city inhabited by minority,Jewish quarter, and environment of isolation."

After exploring and eating lunch we split up from our friends and headed over to the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. I had asked our lunch waiter to wrap up my leftover pizza in hopes that I could share it with a hungry homeless person. I hated it to go to waste, and I'd seen lots of beggars.

As we approached the Trevi Fountain I saw a very old woman begging on the ground. She was not pretty to look at and people were doing a lot more staring at her than offering her money. She was a bit deformed and was shaking. I leaned down and gave her my pizza. Her eyes said “grazie”. She immediately opened the foil and devoured the pieces of pizza.

I felt such a sense of peace doing just a tiny act to help someone and the verses from Matthew 25: 35 and 40 rang in my head; “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Back in the states, our #3 son was also “helping” the homeless. He had been doing a mission feeding homeless people in downtown Spokane with some other college students when apparently a man asked him if he could help out by taking care of his kitten. The little orange kitty must have reminded our boy of our fat orange tabby named Tigger.

T.J. hesitated, then gave the man $20 and snuck the kitten back to his dorm. It was the wrong thing to do on many levels but T.J’s motive was pure. I love my son’s heart. I love that he cares for God’s creatures and is compassionate (I think he has the gift of mercy & loves red kitties like his Momma…).We got a message on Facebook saying he wasn’t hurt, but he needed to talk to us a.s.a.p. A million scenarios ran through my head but him asking if he could keep the kitty was NOT what I expected.
It was quite the story around his campus and on Facebook, and a bit of a chick-magnet too. (He gets that from his old man…)

Some girls living off campus kept the kitty until we arrived for his sister’s graduation mid-month. It just wasn't possible for us to have a baby kitten right now so we gave it to the Humane Society and thankfully a great family adopted him the next day.

Our final dinner was on the hotel roof by a pool overlooking the city. Stories were shared, toasts were made and new friends & colleagues enjoyed reminiscing about the fantastic week in Rome.

My meal was terrific, yet I gained even more satisfaction watching the old woman eating my leftover pizza.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Acts 20:35

In His Grip, Jane

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