Enting

His name is Enting, but his real name is Antonio. He told me he should have been named Jesus, because he was born on December 25. When I told him that Jesus was not born on that date, he did not bring up the subject again. But he keeps inviting me and my wife every time he celebrates his birthday. As always we had sumptuous meals.

Countless times in the past, Enting and I had clashed. Gentle arguments. Subjects like adultery, idol worship, abstinence, Holy Week, crucifixes, the pope, Mary, salvation in Christ.

What is this about the man who has a bad reputation in the village? I once told him the Lord does not care about one’s past. I narrated to him the story of the woman who was caught in an adulterous situation and was about to be stoned (John 8), also of the woman of Samaria who had been living in sin (John 4), and how Jesus dealt with both. Enting liked both stories, and I knew why. Sally his wife told me she has not yet forgotten Enting’s past philanderings. I surmised that here is a soul begging to be understood.

He saw me today as I was guiding my motorcycle down the hill. “What happened?” he asked. No gas, I said. He gave me two liters of Shell Premium. “I’ll charge this to Panfila,” he added. Sister Panfila is the treasurer of Mountain View Church. I said thanks.

I kick-started the engine. Two times. Three. The engine was still dead. Enting readied his tools. He took out my spark plug, looked at it for while, and said, “I think you have to change this.” We rummaged through my tool bag and found a replacement.

I think we had spent two hours trying to find out what’s wrong with my motorcycle. It was not just the empty gas thank. It was not just the spark plug. I checked out the fuel pump and cleaned it. When I said I wanted to check the carburetor also but needed an Allen wrench, Enting looked for one. He watched me as I opened the carburetor and found where the trouble was. He went to the other side of his farm and looked for a piece of chicken wire because I said I needed it to tie the carburetor’s needle and keep it in place.

It was fun to be working on this machine, with this man watching me as if I was a certified engine mechanic though I wasn’t. And as we talked about the machine’s problem, I also kept talking about man’s soul problem. Enting was listening.

As I was leaving, Enting bade me goodbye. “Come drop by here again and we’ll talk Bible.”

I don’t know and am not sure if Enting will become a child of God. But I feel comfortable seeing the cracks in the wall of his soul. And I am comfortable knowing that he has mellowed. He has not been a friend to many, but now he is a friend to me.

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