I was out and about running errands today, my final errand at the bank to deposit a check. The check was money that needs to stay in the bank- a kind credit from a credit card that reversed a late fee for me. Grateful for any small gesture. As I walked back to the car, I was approached by a lady who started out her speach with "Excuse me, I'm sorry...I've lost my job and..." Bam, I cut her off before she could continue; "I've lost my job too." She apologized stepped back, offered me another apology and a 'God bless" and walked away with her husband and daughter. A tumult of thoughts raced through my mind... 'why do they come up to me at the bank? I'm there putting money in for a reason, I didn't take anything out... and anyway, I lost my job too! I'm not walking up to people at the bank... 'Now granted, I know I have a tremendous support system. My parents will not let us lose the house, they will help with the bills, and already, they are so supportive of me trying to find new direction, a new career, any sort of income. But something nagged at my heart...'you can't walk away. You can at least buy them lunch. The widow in the Bible was willing to give her last cents...'
'Ok, fine', I argued with myself, 'what if it turns out like the last time I tried to help someone and they ordered some of the most expensive things on the menu?!'
'Just go. Give. You have something, you can buy them lunch.'
By then I had traveled about 2 blocks from the shopping center, and the nagging feeling had not left. I don't have to question motives, I don't have to worry about how they spend the money, I don't have to do any of that... I can buy them lunch.
I looked all around the shopping center to find them, but they were not there, I drove around, looking between aisles, in front of shops, but no family. I drove further in to the center, away from the bank, and there they were, walking away. I called out to the woman, and asked, "Can I buy you lunch?" Sure, she said, and called over to her husband who turned the stroller around and double timed it over to where we stood. We walked to a nearby Carl's while the husband went to a store to get an application. She was Sabrina, and the child was named Apples. Her husband worked for a body shop and lost his job. She worked at McDonalds, and lost hers as well. Their car, she told me, had been towed away this morning, and they were staying with her grandmother. I said "I have a few bucks, I can buy you lunch." She looked grateful.
I fear I may miss opportunities being so intuned to my pain, my joblessness, my bank account. But there are opportunities for me to see Christ, to BE Christ to whomever needs him. I pray that my selfishness, my own fears will not get in the way of me doing something, no matter how small, to bless someone else. I'm afraid I have gotten so used to defending myself, arguing my case, that I forget to look for those who have no advocate.
Sabrina asked me to pray for them. I will do my best to remember. I don't know that she realizes that she was the gift to me today, reminding me that God is good, and he cares for his children. He will look out for me, and I need to look out for others. I need to be willing to give, down to my last cent, because so much has been given for me. It's the very least that I can do...