Uncle Bishay, the merchant of candies, was an extremely simple and honest man. He used to wander with his cart carrying candies in the streets of Shoubra, downtown Cairo, selling candies to the children near one of the schools there. Uncle Bishay loved the Bible and used to give his Bible to his friends and asked them to read him some of its chapters and verses, as he was illiterate.
One day, Uncle Bishay saw one of his neighbors heading to him, looking confused. He said to Uncle Bishay, “Peace be with you, brother!”
“Peace be with you Uncle Bishay!”
“I hope all is ok.”
“Everything is ok. But your wife feels some pain and asks you to leave your cart to one of your friends and go back home to her.”
Uncle Bishay was a little confused, as he left his wife in the morning feeling not quite well but he did not take it seriously. She concealed most of her pains behind her sweet smile and her nice words with him and with her eight kids.
Uncle Bishay made the sign of the cross and looked at heaven praying for his wife. Then he walked towards his house where he found the door of his room in the ground floor open. He saw all the needy women surrounding his poor wife in the one room in which all the family was living. These women used to visit the house and take small assistance from this loving wife.
When Uncle Bishay saw this scene; especially when the women started to console him for his wife's death, he tried to collect himself and he asked them quietly to leave the room with his sons for some time. Then he went into the room and approached his wife who was dead on the bed. He knelt down in great faith and he prayed humbly saying, "God, You’ve given me eight sons and You gave me this wife as a pillar for the house to raise her kids. How could You take her from us? Who could raise those kids?"
Tears poured down on his face while he was blaming God with inaudible words. While he was crying he heard these words, "I gave your wife fifteen more years, as I did before with Hezekiah the King."
Then she opened her eyes and started eating after some minutes.
Bishay left his house, thanking God for his great care. He asked one of his friends to write the date of that day on a small paper which he put in his wallet. Time went by, and Uncle Bishay became old and he raised his eight kids while he was working as a merchant of candies. One day, a man came and told him that his wife was very sick. Bishay took out the paper from his wallet and asked him to read the date written on it. He found out that fifteen years had passed and realized that the time for her death has drew near. He hurried to his house.
He entered the room and knelt down beside the bed saying to his wife, "Farewell my wife. Thank you God for leaving her all these years to raise her kids and support me.
How sweet You are my Creator!
You endow me with grace and glory in my life.
You give me peace and joy in my departure.
If I live, I live for You.
If I die, I die for You.
You are my life and eternal glory.
Hospitality of a Donkey and a
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