Nine-year-old Pedro lay ill in his hospital bed, feeling a throbbing pain in his stomach, Fr. Gregory, a young Chaplain with a big smile, stopped daily to visit and cheer him up. Pedro liked his visits and looked forward to them. When he arrives, Fr Greg (as he liked to be called) told Pedro funny stories making him giggle despite his pain. Watching Pedro laugh, Fr Greg’s face displayed a huge smile that seemed to bounce off the walls. Before ending his visit, Father Greg held Pedro’s hand, saying always the exact same thing, “God loves you, Pedro, as He does all His children,” he said, “especially those who hurt.”
During all those moments, Fr. Greg’s bubbly presence helped Pedro and his family stay hopeful. Finally, the doctors operated and removed the painful blockage that so bothered Pedro. Somewhat dazed from his operation, Pedro opened his eyes and saw a smiling face looking at him.
At first glance he thought it might be God, coming to take him to heaven. Then he heard a familiar voice saying: “Hello, Pedro, it’s over. In just little while you’re going to be all better.” Pedro blinking his eyes in surprise saw not God, but his friend, Fr. Greg, standing at the foot of his bed. Pedro flashed a big smile, for now he knew he was going to get well.
From this day forward, Pedro told everyone Fr. Greg looked like God. In fact throughout his lifetime, each time he prayed to God, it was Fr Greg, his big smile, his kind words and his uplifting support that Pedro always saw.
Later when he heard that Fr. Greg died, Pedro, although saddened by the news, smiled and said “God is going to be happy to see his twin. They are having a great time together.”
Pedro’s story helps us understand the many ways, God finds to get close to us. And the clever disguises God uses to do it.
God uses these same disguises with each of us, and He has many more covers than a wonderful Fr Greg. We need to start looking right this moment, because God never stops trying to get our attention. If we begin our discovery now, we may surprised at the big smile God has waiting for each of us. It can readily help us to live today well!