Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Help, when least expected...

A Catholic monk and a Baptist preacher were walking
along a lonely dirt road together. What did they share
in common? You decide.
 "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." 
Psalm 56:3

Description of the illustration:  Drawing by David Rice, Catholic monks, faces, habits, friends indeed, 

      This little drawing comes with an interesting story.
       As my parents aged they traveled quite a bit in Western Europe. It had always been their dream to travel after retirement. Dad was only given a brief window for this preoccupation; for he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. 
       The following is the story as my mother often tells it. I think that it is true because it does seem like something my father would do:

      On one European tour in particular, Dad was still able to hobble about without much help so he and my mother decided to explore a little Italian village on a walk together alone. They wandered street to street, alley to alley and eventually they wandered down too many hidden streets and allies to know just where they were at. Of course, they had taken no map and couldn't speak a word of Italian. (If you knew my parents, you would not be in the least bit surprised by this kind of predicament.)
       So lost were they in fact that the only person remotely in their environment to happen along the same dirt road, was a humble monk. My father decided to ask for directions from the monk so that he and his wife might make it back to their tour bus before dark. Mother, was getting quite worried.
       First he asked the monk if he spoke any English. The monk indicated with a nod and a few hand gestures that he did not understand Dad. Then the monk asked Dad if he spoke Italian, at least that's what my mother thought, and Dad indicated that he did not. Then the monk asked Dad if he spoke German, at least that is what Dad thought. Dad said no, of course, but, he said no in English. Then the monk asked Dad if he spoke any French? Dad said no in English. Then the monk asked Dad if he spoke any Spanish. Dad said no in Spanish, however he didn't really speak any Spanish. 
       Then Mom began to look worried. Dad grinned quite mischievously and then asked the monk in perfect Latin if he spoke any Latin? The monk's face lit up and he laughed! Yes, he spoke fluent Latin. So Dad and his new friend spoke at length about being lost and in love with Italy. They talked about the sunset. They walked back through the village together, both while speaking a language that nobody else understood, arm in arm, much to my mother's relief!

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