Going back to the Past- 7th Part
We were transferred to Johannesburg, South Africa, and were sent to live with 2 more couples. One was recently married, the other was more experienced, and in fact, had a child who was one and half years old.
I arrived at the home with grand expectations of living with other moves. When I entered the house, I saw that there was almost nothing to eat. Happily, I went grocery shopping to get what was needed. Before this, the more experienced wife who was married for some time, gave me money to buy diapers for her son.
Arriving at the supermarket, I filled one cart and a half. I went to the cash register to pay for the groceries, and I decided to empty the cart that was half full first, because I had no idea how much everything was going to be.
And as the cashier emptied the last cart, I asked her to tell the total value of my purchase. When I saw the amount was more than the money I had, which by the way was half the cost of help that Júlio received.
And full of embarrassment, I started asking to take away some items until it reached the quantity of money I had with me. In truth, it was everything that I could pay at that moment.
When I arrived at home, the mature wife told me, “Look Viviane, you need to tell us when you go grocery shopping so that we can divide the expenses among us. You have to tell me and the other wife.”
Living in this house was the first experience I had where I had to live with other people that were not my family. And it wasn’t one of the best experiences. The recently married wife did not leave her room. She didn’t help with cleaning and not even with the food expenses.
I was only 18 years old. I didn’t know how to ask for help. I never imagined that this could happen that, for me, was so natural: cleaning, helping with the expenses, and being present.
The husbands would arrive and both wives would serve their respective husbands with what I bought, without even giving anything to contribute.
I didn’t know how to ask for help. I wasn’t able to understand that I had speak up to resolve the problem. So instead of resolving the issue, I became shamefully greedy.
I would’t tell them anything, but I expected their help. And my thoughts began to feed bad eyes. I would tell myself so many absurd things. In other words… I was unaware of myself in that situation.
The right thing was that they had to collaborate: divide the expense. Help with the cleaning. Be present. But I was wrong with the simple fact that I was doing everything right, while having bay eyes and egocentric thoughts.
During this time, I had to make a quick trip to Portugal. And the bishop’s wife welcomed me so well, just the way my mother always taught me. With a big smile, and all my needs ( the accessories, etc. ) met in the bathroom and the room in the apartment.
When I entered the bathroom and saw everything she had prepared for me, I slumped to the ground, face first. Her offering touched me so deeply that I began to cry in the bathroom. I saw myself as so poor, so mean. Something I thought I would never be able to conceive in my mind, happened. I realized that the difficulties were making me react in the flesh and I didn’t know how to love in the way that I should have.
I was afraid to be myself with the wives that lived with me, to tell them the truth to resolve the problem. And because of this, I turned into someone reprehensible in my own eyes. I was pointing out the mistakes and committing the same error as them.
I would point out that they weren’t helping me; I helped them in everything, but criticizing. In other words, I was being false.
What justice was that?
I was demanding justice while I myself was being unjust.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20: 35
I left Portugal with another vision of what I had to do. I decided to no longer repay with the same coin. I decided to fight against my own flesh, learning to serve even thought no one is helps me. After this day I was not perfect, but I started paying attention to my actions when I was receiving anything in return.
I went back home and decided to change my unjust attitudes.
The center go my attention was correcting my faults.