Saturday, 16 April 2011

A response to Jesus' teaching about the poor

He was ahead of me in a line (queue) at my local gas station and convenience store. I suspect that he was 28 – 30 years old.

The body language of the clerk (cashier) indicated that he had little patience for this man who was ahead of me.  It appeared that this particular customer was purchasing a money order, and that the clerk (cashier) was either bored with, or disdainful of the transaction.

The clerk (cashier) disappeared into the nether regions of the store, in order to make photocopies of the customer’s driving licence and social security card.

In the interim, I greeted this man who was ahead of me in the line. I wanted him to know that though the clerk (cashier) seemed to be unkind, I was in no great hurry.

He responded by saying “Now I have only $20 which will have to last me for the next two weeks”.

Then, at my prompting, he told me that he had a girl-friend, and that they 
had two children, aged 4 and 6.

At this point my irrationality overcame my prudence.   I reached into my billfold (wallet), and into my pockets.   I emerged with about $3.85 – all that I had on hand.  I gave it to him with the muttered hope that he might use it to buy a bit of bread and some milk for the children.

He was genuinely grateful.   I left the store and got back into my car, with a 
nagging feeling that I should have done more.

I hung around, and when he came out of the store, I suggested that he should follow me to the nearby Supermarket, where I would spring for some foodstuffs for him, for his partner, and for their children.

He turned my offer down with genuine grace. So we shook hands, and exchanged names.

His name is Matt.   You know that I am Michael.

Thus we are the M and M’s.   We both need your good thoughts and/or loving prayers. 

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