Giusefi sat down as he shared his problems to me. He was one of my closer friends. These were one of those rare moments when someone as strong as him would sit down and share his frail sides. He barely talks about them to anyone else, except for his best friends, and I was one of those friends.
“I…couldn’t help it. I’m sorry, Jenro,” he began.
“No, it’s okay, what is it? What happened? What’s wrong?” I replied. Earlier he had asked me to come, saying there was a problem he wanted to share to me.
“I couldn’t help it. I – you know, it’s hard to explain…” he said. I just nodded.
Giusefi is a pastor’s son. His mother goes home once or twice every few months, and at times, Giusefi is left at home to care for his siblings. The responsibility is on his shoulders.
But then, he finds out about his father’s affair with a young woman. All along, as his mother was working for them, there was his father – fooling them, and even spending their money for this woman.
“This is why I couldn’t come to church even if I wanted to. It’s like playing pretend now. You get my jist? A dad who stands in front of a congregation…but lies to his own family…it’s sick. It’s hypocrisy… ”
It seems hard, I know. My dad’s not a pastor, but…I understand that feeling fathers get when their wives are far away. Parents should be together, and yet…
Giusefi continued, “I don’t know what to do, Jenro.”
I wasn’t in a position to give advice to him, either.
But, I had to say something.
“Umm…” I cleared my throat, and put a hand on Giusefi’s shoulder, “You know, the best thing you could do is….to love. The problem with us, sometimes, is that we seem to want to face things alone. But the reality is – your mother is there. She’s come home now, right? You should show her you love her in times when she needs it the most…you’re all in this together as a family.”
“But what about my dad?” Giusefi asked, “Will I have to forgive him?”
“I know it’s hard, yes… I don’t know how it feels, too, since…I haven’t been in your situation. But you’ll have to forgive him. It’s going to be hard, but, that’s the key to healing – Forgiveness. Choosing grace over justice.”
“You know, thanks,” he said, “Your simple words, and the thought of you being my friend is enough to keep me going.”
“Without God, you can never go to places.” I replied, “That’s self-effort, independence from God. He wants you to depend on Him. And know that He will always love you and He wants you to love others, no matter how undeserving they seem to be, as well.”
Author’s Notes: I changed the names, for private purposes. Unlike the first two stories, this one is a true story.