Monday, July 21, 2008

the cost of not being a hypocrite $2

hi how are you
hungry- i need a burger
i am sorry what did you say
i need a burger- will you buy me a burger- from jack in the box
sure, my name is Sarah
hi i am steve- you know what is cheaper than a burger- rice and sweet and sour sauce- can i have that?
sure, i will get it for you
(walk in the building, order food, pay $2, go outside realize that he can't use chop sticks, go back inside get fork and napkin, go back outside)

what do you do for a living
I work with spiritual formation
oh, that is cool, what do you do
I teach people about living in the way of Jesus, you know feed the hungry and stuff
(and I don't feel like a hypocrite because he has rice)

His toothless smile was intense and honest. He asked if he could use my phone to call his mother, reluctantly I dialed the number he gave me. He asked her for money. She didn't even know where he was and he asked her for money. That was hard to watch. Before I left him I told him about Page Street where he could volunteer and get a meal for free, and some groceries. The prospect of food was really exciting for him. The entire time we were talking I was holding my fresh coffee. I had just eaten Indian food, and watched a movie. It was a good day, and even if by some crazy social standard he didn't deserve to have me buy his meal, I have to say that as I told him what I did for a living I was relieved that I knew it was true. I encourage people to live in the Way of Jesus, I host work shops that focus on the teachings of Christ, and sometimes when I am lucky, I get a chance to meet people, ask them how they are, and feed the hungry.


sweetsong said...

This made me sad. I'm not sure why. Maybe because it is so easy in my suburban life to get trapped in things like swim lessons and playdates. I don't want to forget the hugry or do I? I pray that I don't. I also found myself thinking of his mother. He was her baby...her toddler...her little boy. What would it be like to be her? What did her heart feel like? Like I said...I feel sad now -MB

Simple Diva said...

thanks for the perspective.
The encounter was sad, but it also affirmed how much the little things matter. In the moments I was speaking with him his smile showed that he felt cared for, and he was. He needed someone to hear his story, to care enough to trust him with their phone, and to matter to another person.
Something as simple as giving him a two dollar lunch, what he asked for, demonstrated to him that he mattered. It also meant that when he asked me about what I do I could tell the truth in my answer with conviction. With sincerity I told him that God loves the poor.
His problem wasn't solved, but he had hope. He had hope that there would be others like me, hope that Page street would be a place he could get food, hope that God might really care about him.
As for his mother, I just trust that it was good for her to talk to her son.
But yes it is sad...

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