What if ...........

Last night was Beer Tuesday .......

And our little group has extremely eclectic conversations. 

Like we will talk about sports, quilting, cooking, wifi availability, kids at school,  politics, the birds nesting near us and faith.

Remember that ............. I will get back to it.

So as I was leaving, I commented to Honey that I needed to stop and get gas for my 16 year old RAV4. I usually fill up at a small locally owned neighborhood quick shop but tonight, I pulled into one of the truck stops along the interstate.

A youngish Middle Eastern woman immediately approached me and asked me for money for gas.

Now .... I live in the middle of a cornfield on the east coast of Iowa.  I look out my window and I don't see homelessness and poverty.

It is there ..... I know.

But I see beautiful sunrises, rows of flowers and ripening tomatoes.

When I am hungry ..... I gather some eggs.  When I am cold ..... I wrap up in another blanket.  When I need socks ..... I pull out the knitting needles and yarn.  We are not rich ..... but we have all that we need.

So with $5 in cash in my pocket .... I brushed off the young woman and she went back to the van where her partner was carefully and deliberately washing the windows .... over and over again.

And our conversation of less than an hour before came back to me.

Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry and didn't ask why.  He did it ...... and said ... Go and sin no more. 

No questions.  No demands.  No conditions on the gifts.

I finished putting the gas in the car..... and I thought what I could really buy with $5.  Did I need it??

They could possibly get 40 miles down the road .... they could buy a cold drink or a sandwich apiece.

And I pulled around and gave the young woman the $5 I had.

Immediately, I was chastised by a well dressed older woman.  Elegantly coiffed and impeccably dressed .... she was classy from head to toe.  She looked like she came from the country club or Junior League or a day shopping with friends. 

Or from church ........

She said ......... You know, people like them do this all the time.    

Yes, I know.

It is just a scam.

Yes, I know.

People like us give money so people like them have places to go.

(Whoa.  You didn't say that???  You want to hide the problem so you don't see it??)

And I said to her ........... But what if it was my daughter? 

She said nothing.

As I drove off .... I realized that we in America don't want to see the poverty around us.  We want to see pretty flowers and beautiful sunsets and manicured lawns. 

We are afraid of being scammed ..... even for $5.

How could I immediately so callously brush off that young woman's needs?   And later .... I thought of so many other scenarios that might have been happening from trafficking to prostitution that I should have addressed with her.  Did she need the police?  Was she safe??

And I discovered .... that my own heart ... has some serious work to do. 

Starting today ..........

Starting now......


Anonymous said…
I love you for posts like this!!
Unknown said…
Once, after a similar experience a number of years ago, I lamented whether my inherent trusting nature coupled with a bit of a bleeding heart had too vigorously informed my decision to offer assistance. Someone asked if I thought I had done the right thing. I said I did. And with a nod of authority, they replied: “Then you did the right thing.”
It might be just a simple as that.

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