Vol. 15


Crossed Paths

c. 1980; Giza, Egypt

Here’s the story of how my grandma emotionally connected with a young child that she didn’t know — who barely even spoke her language! — in another country.

About forty years ago, my grandma Lyn was staying in Egypt by herself for a while for her work. Of course, she was wearing her necklace of a cross that she always wore and still has to this day. The necklace was given to her by her best friend, Carolista. In Egypt, Islam was — and still is — the official religion. Christians there were persecuted, and they lived in fear.

Near the end of her trip, my grandma Lyn decided to go to visit the pyramids of Giza before she flew out of Egypt. She was wearing her special necklace and carrying some loose Egyptian pounds and U.S. one-dollar bills. (She never liked to take her wallet with her on a solo trip.) Additionally, she decided not to go on a tour bus or with a group of tourists, so she could have a tranquil visit.

On her arrival, she saw the area where all of the tourists were dropped off to see the pyramids. Around this place young kids were begging for money. Why? Sadly, it has long been common for poor Egyptian children to beg the tourists for money near the pyramids. Obviously my grandma felt horrible for these children, but she thought she could give them money on her way out.

Grandma Lyn then started the quarter-mile walk to the Great Pyramid. Suddenly, out of nowhere, she heard the sound of footsteps. She turned around slowly to see if something, or someone, was following her.

It was a young thin boy, who was about seven. My grandma thought he was just wanting money, so she kept walking to the pyramid. When she arrived, she saw that the boy had followed her all the way there. She stopped and pulled out some money to give to him. She never would have expected what happened next. The child violently shook his head no to the offer, but pointed at something — her necklace.

He pointed at her necklace with a cross on it and said, “Same. We’re the same.” She looked closer at his hand that he pointed at her and saw a cross, just like hers, tattooed onto the skin between his thumb and forefinger. She was moved to tears.

This incredible story is important to me because it shows that no matter where we come from or how different we are, our religious beliefs bring us together to show that we all are more similar than we think. That little boy, who practiced Christianity in a country where it was dangerous to be Christian, followed my grandma all that way because he saw that they both were similar even though they led very different lives.

This event changed my grandma Lyn’s life, because she has never forgotten this boy and still tears up at the story to this day.

Carolista Walsh; North Carolina, USA



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