Atanacio Rosas, one of the Mexican policeman credited with saving a young man’s life by offering him some tacos, says he “simply treated him as a son.”
The seventeen-year-old was threatening to jump off an overpass, reports Mexico News Daily, saying he “had neither friends nor family there. He had no job, no money and was hungry.” So the policemen who responded offered to take care of at least one problem, and brought him to a nearby taco truck, where he ate five tacos al pastor.
Once the immediate crisis was averted, they were able to bring the young man to a health center to be evaluated and treated for his more complicated problems. And he did not jump.
A few weeks ago, Hallie Lord wrote the following message on Facebook:
Last week when I was up in NYC co-hosting the Jennifer Fulwiler Show on SiriusXM The Catholic Channel, Sister Bethany Madonna, a Sister of Life, said something that has stuck with me ever since. She told us that when a woman walks into their home facing a crisis pregnancy, the first thing they do is ask if she’s hungry and make her some eggs. That’s the starting point.
There is no more perfect starting point. Not because feeding another person is a kind thing to do, or because it shows you care, or because it helps put them at ease — though these are all wonderful, important things — but because it destroys fear.
Did you know that? That scrambled eggs destroy fear? Because they do. Or at least the act of making them does.
When a frightened woman approaches them and they stop everything to feed her, they are pouring love into that moment and since love and fear cannot coexist, the fear immediately begins to dissipate. Once that fear is out of the way, they can start to look for ways to help her. How brilliant and beautiful is that?
Here’s the truth: we’re all a little scared of something. Fearlessness is a myth. We can overcome fear and we can find peace, absolutely, but we’re all a little afraid. And that’s okay, because we’re not helpless and we’re not powerless. We can cooperate with God, we can flood our world with love, and we can force out all the fear. We can scramble some eggs.
Our bodies can be so troublesome to us, so uncooperative and unreliable. But it is a great gift that we have these bodies, along with our appetites, because they are yet another way that God has given us to show love to each other.
I don’t suppose the Mexican policemen had a grand plan to use tacos to forever drive all thoughts of suicide out of the young man’s life. And the Sisters of Life are under no illusion that a plateful of eggs will solve the complicated problems that brought the women to them for help with a crisis pregnancy.
But they did wisely and humbly use the food, and the act of service, to make a connection, to fill an immediate need, to give personal comfort, to show love. They stopped everything and fed them. This is something that only one human being can do for another. Be on the watch for your chance! It may save a life.
Tacos al pastor by Jeffrey Beall (creative commons)