Alano grew up to be a short, stocky, and
muscular man. His joyful face revealed a hint of cruelty. His
short black hair and square features enhanced his masculinity.
Adding to his manliness where his thick black bushy eyebrows,
which contrasted against his chocolate brown skin.
Alano remembered vividly the Franciscan orphanage where
the brothers had raised him. He remembered the lonely nights in his straw
bed; the endless lessons about religion. The Franciscans constantly reminded
Alano how sinful and worthless he was and bombarded him with biblical
stories. Nevertheless, he learnt to read by studying the bible. He began to
learn about God and to love him. The stories he read were violent and
confusing, but they offered an escape from the real violence of the people
around him. He knew nothing about facts, history, reason, or science; and
more importantly, he knew little about love. Love for himself, or for
others. He knew only of his love of God.
The only choice available to him after leaving the
orphanage was to join the army. He really wanted to preach, but that was not
an option. It was while in the army that he lost his hand to a grenade. It
was a terrible and painful event. Ultimately, the injury saved him from
almost certain death as a soldier. His discharge forced him to make a living
outside of the army. Losing his hand only confirmed his view of suffering in
the world. "God gives it to us to strengthen us," he thought.
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