I had just come out of Hobby Lobby when I was approached by a twelve year old girl pushing a battered umbrella stroller, and with her was an overweight woman carrying an eight month old and another younger woman. They all looked poor and unkempt.
"Where do you want to eat?" I asked.
"Anywhere," said the girl.
I was hungry, too. It was almost 1:30 and I was in a hurry to get home. I even knew exactly what I was going to have for lunch: toasted ciabatta, tomatoes, cheese, and a cold glass of water with a slice of lemon. No worries on my part ... it was all there waiting for me.
But this little girl was worried enough to ask a stranger for help.
Food. Water. Shelter. Safety. Such basics in life, and yet many people don't have them. As we walk around our nice city, living our lives and relaxing in our homes, it is tempting to ignore the man on the side of I-20 with a Will Work for Food sign, or a bag lady pushing a shopping cart, or a hungry girl in a parking lot because, after all, we aren't in Africa, or Indonesia, or Haiti, or Calcutta.
And because we aren't faced with situations like these on a daily basis, it is easy to become suspicious, fearful, and even judgmental. It's easy to lose sight of the fact that everyone is so much more than what we see ... that everyone has a story.
I didn't know that little girl's story; all I knew was that she was hungry, so I gave them what they needed.
Was I conned? Maybe I was ... but then again, maybe I wasn't.
The fact is I don't know.
The fact is ... does it really matter? I had something that maybe they needed, and maybe was good enough for me.
|“One would give generous alms if one had the eyes to see the beauty of a cupped receiving hand.” |
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe