Thursday, October 27, 2011

Recovered Jewels

Desert Storm had just started, so I was leaving Tehran, Iran. At the airport, two guys in battle dress stopped me and emptied my briefcase and my carry-on on the floor. By the time I had gathered my belongings, the two guys were gone. In the plane, before takeoff, I learned from an Iranian lady sitting next to me that it was what they do. While people gathered their scattered stuff, they spot what they want, and steal it. They know that no one leaving Iran is allowed to take anything out of the country, and that the Iranian currency can’t be exchanged abroad. So people hide their hard currency, jewels, gold, and precious stones to barter when leaving Iran.

While talking to me she had been searching in her purse, and suddenly started to cry. She had hidden her wedding ring and other jewels in an aspirin tube and it was gone! I tried to comfort her, and told her I was going to pray to a good friend of mine to help us. I talked to St. Anthony of Padua and told him something like, “I don’t know this lady, I don’t know her family, and I’m positive the guys at the airport stole the jewels. I have no idea how you’re going to bring those jewels from the airport into this plane, especially now that the gate is closed, but look at her distress! Please help her!” Barely two minutes later, the stewardess passed along the aisle with the tube in her hand, asking whose it was. Wow! I believed my prayer could be answered, of course, but still, I was stunned!