St. Joseph Province

Missionaries Of Compassion

“Do as I have done” Jn 13,15


A Cup of Coffee

My life began similarly to most of the kids in my family, with a mother who did the best she could before the father screwed up enough times and she left. That’s the way it is in my family, you grow up not knowing what a father is and no one is there to teach you.

Consequently, I developed the usual problems with alcohol and drugs and spent seven years as a street kid, landing in rehab when I was 20. Inside I met my counselor, Bill, and he taught me a lot of things. The main thing was the gift of giving.

It was the night before a significant event and I was very nervous. Bill saw this and suggested that we go for a walk. As we walked and talked, Bill suggested we go for a coffee. I told him I was broke but when I got paid, I would pay him back. He stopped then and looked at me in a serious, but loving way and said, “No, you won’t.”

He followed by telling me that I didn’t owe him anything and he was doing this because he could. He then told me something that has followed me to this day, “One day you’ll be around someone and they’ll need a coffee, and you’ll be able to buy it for them. That’s how you can pay me back.”

I’m a youth worker now; far away from the life I had ten years ago. My job is simple, I buy kids coffee. Bill taught me how to do that.


“Give as you would if an angel

Awaited your gift at the door.

Give as you would if tomorrow

Found your giving was o’er.

Give as you would to the Master,

If you met his loving look.

Give as you would of your substance,

If His hand your offering took.”

– Author unknown

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