June 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

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. –Matthew 25:35

With regards to the friends I made in Canada, there is almost no one I feel I can tell.

They were almost random strangers, and could have remained so. But each took a small step from fear to love, and a wonderful thing called friendship was born.

I met all of these friends in the church of St. Francis de Sales. The greatest lesson I was taught is the lesson in generosity. N invited me countless of times over to her place to have food because she knew I missed home cooked asian food. She brought me to a bible study and always made sure I had secured a ride to the station. There is A, the guy I met while being sheltered under his umbrella, who after that I didn’t meet until a long time later because I always couldn’t make it in time for the mass session he goes for. He is the one who gave me free lunch and a movie treat on our last meeting.

Then there is J, the old man who repeats himself, whose loneliness and depression pierces my heart. His generosity I also treasure. When I flew off to NY, he thought I had flown home and was worried when he called my house to check that I had a safe flight and found I wasn’t there. My parents said he called countless times. He is the one who drove me up to SFU even though there were no lights on the road back home and he got lost.

How generous they are! And who was I but a mere stranger? Every now and then, I ponder the kindness and generosity shown to me and I realise I miss them so dearly. I also think how silly it is for me to be resentful every time I feel shortchanged, because really, I’ve been showered me so much blessings.

The word “generosity” includes the term “gen” which we also find in the words “gender,” “generation,” and “generativity.” This term, from the Latin genus and the Greek genos, refers to our being of one kind. Generosity is a giving that comes from the knowledge of that intimate bond.

— Henri Nouwen, in The Return of the Prodigal Son


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