PERRIER AND MY VENICE TRIP
By Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro
“If you then, being evil,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father who is in heaven
give what is good to those who ask Him!”
God brought to my mind my trip to Venice, Italy. I’ll share my little story.
Through this story, I learned that God delights in giving us the desires of our hearts like the little things. Sometimes, we think God only cares about healing, deliverance, salvation of loved ones, and providing us with food, shelter, and clothing. However, God wants to do more than just this.
God cares about our little things, too. I sometimes feel like it’s the little things that God does for me that showcases the greatest love He has for me. The thought that God would answer a silly prayer request is what’s most important to me. For me, it’s that intimacy between a father and a child. My Heavenly Father cares about my little things and makes sure I have them.
I was in Venice, Italy, and I wanted Perrier water. The problem was Venice only carries S Pellegrino sparkling water. Now, don’t tell anyone, but I’m not a fan. I drink only Perrier. It first started with the restaurant. I ordered Perrier. “Signorina mi dispiace abbiamo solo S Pellegrino.” (Miss, I am sorry, we only offer S Pellegrino) I thanked the waiter and didn’t order. I thought let me go to another restaurant. Same issue at that restaurant. I went to five restaurants in Venice before asking, “Where can I find Perrier?”
Imagine my shock when I finally learned that they only carry S Pellegrino. I thought “Looks like I have to go to a food store and get it.” My friend said, “Please, I’m starving, can you pick a restaurant so I can eat?” Immediately after dinner, I told her “I gotta go find Perrier now.”
We went to first store. None. Second, none. Third, none. Finally, fourth store, it dawned on me (some of us are a little slower.) “Please, could you tell me where I can find Perrier water?” The guy gave me a strange look. He said in Italian “Miss, our official water in Venice is S Pellegrino. This is the only sparkling water you will find in Venice.”
As I was leaving the store, the guy called out to me and said “Miss, excuse me, but don’t waste your time looking. If by a miracle you find it, it will be at a supermarket.” I asked him “where is the supermarket?” He told me, “30 minutes walk.” You know it, I headed for the supermarket. People, I stopped at every little food store while my friend waited outside just to be sure. No Perrier. Finally, I arrived at the supermarket. I was so excited. I asked “where is your water?” Perrier was not there. I asked the store clerk, “I’m looking for Perrier, please.” The clerk replied, “Mi dispiace abbiamo solo S.Pellegrino.” He saw my face and told me, “We don’t carry this Perrier water here. Just S Pellegrino.” I was so tired of hearing that answer.
As I was leaving the supermarket, the cashier asked me “You speak Italian, but you don’t look Italian, where are you from?” LOL. I told him that I am Italian born here, but I’m living in USA. He told me in Italian, “Look, in Venice, we are strict about our water. You will not find it here. There’s a supermarket another 30 minutes away. You can try there.” You guessed it. I went.
A total 3-hour walk just for Perrier. Nothing.
In the meantime, I was praying “God, can you please do me this little thing and find me just one bottle of Perrier please?” In that second I felt God say, “Go to one more supermarket.” But I didn’t know my way around Venice. I had already walked 3 hours away from the hotel. It was now 8:45 PM. All of a sudden, I saw a woman carrying a grocery bag. I asked her if she could tell me where the supermarket was. She gave us directions, and I got there 5 minutes before closing time.
I asked the clerk where the water was. I’m now in the very back of the store. My friend was exhausted from walking. I was scanning the shelves. No Perrier. I said out loud, “God, I don’t understand? You told me one more supermarket? There’s no Perrier here.” There was a man in that store next to me, in the same isle. He heard Perrier only cause I was speaking English to my friend. He thought I didn’t speak Italian. He started pointing at the top of the shelving.
There it was! One package of Perrier! Yes, people, I jumped up in the air with excitement. Everyone around me was looking. The guy was over six feet tall. God bless every tall man out there. He climbed a ladder, that’s how high up it was, and took it down. I told him, “Mille grazie!” The guy gave me a hug. We Italians are such emotional beings.
I get in line, and the guy was there, too, now. We were talking, and everyone was hearing about my 3.5 hours of walking to find Perrier. At checkout the lady said, “Where did you find this water?” I froze! I said “in your water isle.”
She told me, “This is strange, we don’t carry Perrier. It’s really your lucky day.”
There was nothing lucky about it. God granted me a little heart’s desire. You see, God was doing something greater in me. He was reminding me that He loves me. God loves me so much that He placed a six pack of Perrier, hidden from sight, up in last shelf, behind everything, until I got there. That was a reminder to me, “If I can place not one bottle, but 6 bottles of Perrier water in a place that doesn’t carry this brand, do you think I can’t give you the more meaningful desires of your heart?” There’s more He told me. I’m sure you get the point.
This scripture is so revealing of the character of God. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in Heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”
God loves to shower us with His love, He takes great pleasure in giving us that which we desire. As a Mom, whatever my children want or desire, I’ve always provided for them. I’ve never really said that they couldn’t have that which they desired. It’s because I love them so much, I want them to not lack anything. God is a million times better than me or any parent out there. He loves us so much that He will do whatever He needs to do to show us what we mean to Him.
My friend and I walked a total of over 6 hours, climbing and descending practically half of all the bridges in Venice, and went inside every single store and the last supermarket in Venice, walking through dark alleys (I do admit that was a bit scary), getting back to the hotel almost at midnight. However, God had to show me something very important: He cares about me, not just for the big things, but also the smallest and insignificant things like my favorite water, Perrier.
Please know that God wants you to know that He cares for you, too. Go deeper with God.
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