Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Turn the Other Cheek

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"But whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also" (Mt 5:39).

Father Pishoy Kamel use to always take a particular route from his house to the church on foot and there was a boy (who was not Christian) who lived in one of the houses he would pass on the way to church. This boy would always shout words of insult at Father Pishoy and mock him from the balcony and often he would add to his insults by throwing orange peel at Father Pishoy.

It was open to Father Pishoy to change his route to the church very easily but he continued to walk the same route knowing that the boy would be there every time to throw insults at him and sometimes the orange peel.

Despite the harsh words which were thrown at Father Pishoy, he would not get upset by what was said or shout back at the boy. Instead he would smile and thank God that He had allowed him to partake in Christs sufferings (1 Pet 4:13).

One day as he was going to the church Father Pishoy noticed that the boy did not appear in the balcony to throw the usual abuse and orange peel at him, so on his return from the church he passed by the house where the boy lived and knocked on the door to find out from his mother that the boy was in poor health and sick in bed.

So he asked if he could be permitted to see him and the mother let him in. He then went to the boys bedroom where he sat with him and spoke to him warmly and with the genuine love of one speaking to a close friend.

He told him how much he had missed seeing him, and how he hoped he would get better soon and that he should leave him to rest so that he can get better, and then Father Pishoy said, If you will permit me I have a present for you. I know how much you like them.

And then with his warm smile he produced the present for the boy. It was a bag full of oranges.

The boy never said a bad word to Father Pishoy again.

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