I was recently on a pilgrimage in Poland, where the message of Divine Mercy was given. While having mass near the convent where St. Faustina lived, the priest leading the pilgrimage told this story from his childhood:
When he was in gradeschool, he was small for his age, and often the bigger boys in the class would pick on him, and make a sport of chasing him during recess. One day, for their “show and tell”, Jimmy, who was the largest boy in the class, respectfully feared by the others, said that he was going to show how he had made an egg to be like rubber, and that it could be bounced like a bouncy ball.
During recess, when Jimmy and pretty much everyone else left the class room, diminutive little Kevin (the priest telling this story) went to the teacher’s desk and tried to bounce Jimmy’s egg – and was horrified when the egg splattered on the floor like any normal egg would have done. He became to terrified of what Jimmy was going to do with him, that he didn’t even think of saying sorry. He just thought of how to save himself, and how to avoid punishment. Eventually he realized there was no way out of being caught, and that the only thing he could do was own up to the fact that he broke the egg and apologize. He was completely amazed when Jimmy not only mercifully forgave him, but struck up a friendship with him. From that day on, they became best friends, and instead of being afraid of being picked on, now that the biggest boy on the class was on his side, he felt secure and protected.
It as a simple story, but for me it illustrated so effectively the parallel of our souls in relation to God. Some part of us tends always to be afraid of what God will do to us, and we are inclined to avoid Him rather than own up to our inner disorder and apologize. He is fearfully greater, but if we can only recognize that He not only has mercy for us but wants to be our closest and truest friend, we can go from fearing for ourselves to a state of complete confidence and security.
Everywhere in Poland, there were inscriptions on buildings, alters and signs of the words of St. John Paul the Great: “Do not be afraid.” And I realized for the first time that not being afraid starts with not being afraid of God… all other fears start to dissipate when we live in His forgiveness and friendship.
Sr. Maria, servant of Abba