Living here includes a barrage of demands for food, money, or help. To those of us that don’t speak French…I suppose it’s just an incomfortable confusion…but I hear the words, the pleas. They know that we have resources, but believe them to be endless.
Not sure where it came from…but when I arrived, I decided that I wouldn’t respond if they started the conversation with a demand. Generally, I’ve followed that, expanding on the fact that the relationship-building is far more important here, and crucial for all commerce. I can’t help everyone…so no relationship-building or concern for me, means no money. Of course, that doesn’t preclude a need that I can easily fix. Walking down the road with an open bag of food is just asking for demands, which normally I bend to…I once got 4 requests in a quarter-mile and returned home with a few less cookies. Then there’s incidences like these. Where a little can do a lot of good.
Today, I was returning to the house with a lemonade and some butter crackers. I was hungry, and because of the cookie incident, I jammed the half-full wrapper into my pocket (as I couldn’t hide the 2-liter lemonade without some stares.) A young lady walking beside me said in French: “Excuse me, but I’m hungry.” Already late for work, I looked away, sped up and went through my spiel about how it doesn’t work with me to start the conversation with a demand as I gained distance. 10 steps later, I remembered the crackers hidden in my pocket, but I felt like too much of a jerk to go back. 10 minutes later, I caught myself wondering whether she could have traded something, and my selfishness made me shiver. So much for Proverbs 3.
Proverbs 3:27–29 (MSG) “Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person. Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time” or “Try me tomorrow” when the money’s right there in your pocket.”
Prayer and Bed, G’night all!