An afternoon of mindless errands quickly became an afternoon of contemplation after I was approached by a lady in a red truck.
I don’t usually grocery shop without Eron, but today I decided to make a short list and head out to ALDI for a study break. Online homework makes me drag a bit, so I was slowly making my way in when the lady in the red truck called after me from her open window. Unalarmed I turned around expecting to be asked for directions, but she asked me specifically for two dollars.
This snapped me back to reality a bit and I asked her what she needed it for as I dug around in my purse. I am usually pretty quick to give if I have cash on me; however, I am never sure what exactly I have in the black hole I carry on my shoulder.
This case was different too… In our Life Group at church last Sunday we talked a little bit about our reactions when we are approached by people begging for money. Another example of this type of situation came up on Wednesday, at Midweek Lift, in the video series we are watching. In the video called, Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman, a rugged looking mother and daughter asked the main character for food. He didn’t have anything on him but when he came out of the corner store he handed the daughter an apple and the mother a bag of food.
I don’t believe this is coincidence, so standing outside digging in my purse I remember I have grocery money and pull out a five. I am slow to hand it over because I want to know more… I want to share more… How can I glorify God, instead of just handing over the cash like I normally do.
Not able to think to clearly I ask some basic questions… All you need is two dollars for gas? Where are you from? I reassure her that I believe her (not caring one way or another if she truly gets gas or not) and I give her the money.
My feelings are mixed at this point… Happy to give, but not confident I did everything I could. Why didn’t I get her name? Why didn’t I just ask if I could fill her tank up completely? Eron and I work out of an envelope system for budgeting and I grabbed extra cash for fall decorations just in case, so I was very capable of giving more. I wanted to tell her it is ok if she didn’t use the money for gas and that I was ok with giving her money if she needed it.
My shopping trip turned ultimately into wandering for the first ten minutes until I was able to collect my five items… Almond milk, sweet potatoes, ground turkey, zucchini, and laundry detergent. I checked out, walked outside, left my quarter in the buggy for someone else (since I was now on a charitable kick), and ventured home.
I hope I see her again one day, but I know the chances of that are next to nothing. Thankfully I know I will have other opportunities to reach out to people, and God is preparing me for that purpose :).
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