We were nearing the end of our voluntary missionary experience here in Arequipa. We had allotted some days to Cusco. It was a normal evening in the main square of Cusco, sitting on a bench and just relaxing.
As we were sitting, someone passed by trying to sell us some sweets. None of us seemed interested. Exactly at that very moment, I saw a scene that I will never forget.
A poor boy was working with his mother at cleaning the square. He ran to ask how much the sweets cost. I saw his face drop as he realized that he did not have enough money to buy some. I just saw all this from a distance: his disappointment was so real! Without much thought, I went and bought him the sweets he wanted and gave them to him as a gift.
I was deeply surprised by joy. God, in a split second, looked at me and smiled. That sweetness, that experience, touched my soul.
As this little boy looked deeply in my eyes, something happened to me. The expression, the smile, the bewilderment, the surprise, were, for me, unimaginable. As his mother came to thank me, the boy could still not believe his luck and ate his sweets gladly, all the time looking at me.
It was a look which I never forget, a look that penetrated my heart, that communicated gratitude no words could ever convey in return for my simple gesture.
I was deeply surprised by joy. God, in a split second, looked at me and smiled. That sweetness, that experience, touched my soul. I experienced the fullness of the words of Christ, that the one who gives is happier than the one who receives.