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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Something to think about

Today I stopped in a pizza shop to order a pizza. I noticed a man sitting at a table who appeared to be "of the street". He was counting out change and when he was done he went to the counter and asked the clerk to exchange it for paper cash. He probably had 3 or 4 dollars all together. As he was leaving he walked over the a table where some people had just left. He then picked up one of their half finished glasses of soft drink and drank it. He then picked up the two slices of pizza left on the table and walked out.

I couldn't help but think what a sad moment I had just witnessed. I have no idea who this man was or what his situation in life is. He could be homeless and jobless through no fault of his own or through all of his own fault. When I see people like this I often feel guilty for not doing anything to help. By practice I rarely carry any cash, but I sometimes think that I should for situations where it may do well to offer to buy another person a meal. After all, our Lord did say:

35 For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:

36 Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. 37 Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? 39 Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? 40 And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

41 Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. 44 Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? 45 Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me. -- Matthew 25

But then, another man came through the door. He also looked to be "of the street". He walked up to the counter, looked down at what was in his hand, and turned away. He stopped at a table where another person was sitting. He held up what was in his hand and said, "I found this on the street. I thought it was a credit card, but its just one of those hotel key cards." He dropped it on the table and walked out. Again, I don't know who this man was or what his situation in life is. Whas he in this situation through no fault of his own and willing to steal by using a lost credit card out of desperation? Or, was this act an example of his fault that has lead to his status in life?

These two episodes have given me more questions that answers. What should be my response to those who appear less fortunate than I? Am I to trust fully in the goodness of each human person? Where do I draw the line between charity and recklessly allowing myself to be taken advantage of? Why was I in that resturaunt at the time when these two men would also be there? What am I supposed to learn from this experience?

3 comments:

Greg Long (Australia) said...

That one's easy, Chris.

The Lord was whispering- "Feed my sheep."

That is what you are doing.

Just a nice reminder, methinks.

We all are hungry.

Zoe said...

Chris,

You can always offer to buy a stranger a warm meal...

Zoe

Anonymous said...

or update the blog