It was 1996, and our family had just moved from the safety of Italy to a somewhat still troubled and unstable post-war Croatia, settling in a large apartment on the outskirts of Rijeka.
Our neighbors—a mix of refugees, widows, and elderly relatives caring for children whose parents had died or left to find work—had all gone through traumatic experiences as a result of the tragic conflicts that had only recently ended.
My son Jonathan was born in a small Indian village, during the time my husband and I were serving there as volunteers. Like many Indian kids, he grew up eating rice, dahl, chapatis, and the incredible, colorful variety of tropical fruit available at every street corner.
As many first-time mothers can probably relate to, nothing holds my interest like observing my little girl. Her facial expressions, the excitement in her eyes, her curiosity—just about everything she does brings out the motherly love in me. And one wonderful day I realized that’s how Jesus, in His unconditional love, is looking at me.
Our neighbor, Mr. Chen, enthusiastically returned my “Good morning,” adding a heartfelt, “Isn’t the weather great today!” As I watched him walk on with a spring in his step and a beaming smile that eclipsed his graying hair and wrinkles, I couldn’t help but marvel. Until recently, Mr. Chen had barely acknowledged my greetings, and he rarely smiled or talked to anyone. Chronic health struggles had left their mark in the depressed frown, slumped shoulders, and slow gait that seemed to characterize him. What could have brought about this wonderful change?