Being a priest is a “danger” because at any moment we can be asked any question. I like this “danger”. For example, a few days ago, I got into a taxi. The taxi driver looked at me and said: “Can I ask you a question? “I’m starting to get older (I looked at him, and he looked about forty) and I’m starting to think. Until now, I’ve lived like this, but I got married, although not in church, and my children came along, I realise that I have to tell them something and the first thing I’m thinking about is whether God exists, whether there is another life afterward, or whether everything is just here”.
I waited a few seconds to see if he wanted to continue talking, but I saw that it was my turn. I thought the best thing to do was to ask him a question: “And what do you think, is there another life afterward or not? I don’t think he remains a dog. There must be something behind it” … And I went on, “attacking:” “Your parents, are they both alive?” … “My old man died three years ago. He is buried in Sullana. Every time I travel, I go to visit him and talk to him. I don’t know the whole story, but I say the Lord’s Prayer for him. I don’t know where he is, but I feel that he is somewhere.” …. I don’t say anything. I can feel him wanting to speak. And he goes on: “The eldest of my children, who is nine years old, surprises me, because sometimes he talks to me about his “abu” who was his great friend, and I see that he still is” … “And what do you think?” … “He doesn’t say anything about the dog, now there is another one in the house and the dog is gone, although he was also his great friend. He talks about his ‘grandfather’ all the time”.
I think how important it is to think. That’s what the taxi driver is doing as he drives around Lima. When you think, you discover things that you have inside you. My journey is short. We are getting closer to my arrival point.
I ask him for permission to ask him one last question: “Do you believe that God gets involved in your life, or is he out there and has nothing to do with it? And if he does interfere in my wife’s life, and in my children’s lives. … The truth is that kids say things…”.
We arrived. I go to get off, and he tells me that I don’t owe him anything, that with everything I’ve told him… “But I haven’t told him anything”?
I managed to pay him for the race, which was a short one… I gave him my blessing. I have the feeling that I have made a friend. And I go away thinking how important it is to think.