This article is my submission to the blog challenge sponsored by the devotional team blog, "Laced with Grace."
In our country, the Philippines, poverty and lack of self-worth is as common as the flu. When you roam the streets, beggars and peddlers would come to you and pester you non-stop for loose change. It became so common that people, like me, tend to become desensitized and cold. The inclination to ignore and get on with my daily life is irresistable. It's always better not to get involved.
One afternoon, when I was home-bound I decided to have a light snack in the nearby Mc Donald's in Ayala Avenue near my office in Makati. Most of the diners were young profesisonals like me. Ayala Avenue is like Wall Street in the US. It is the Business Capital in our country. As I walked inside, I saw the regulars already busy eating. Their faces were animated as they chattered on about their lives. They seemed to me, oblivious to the world.
I was waiting for my order to be filled, so I decided to sit at the nearby table while I was waiting for my number to be called. To pass time, I do some people-watching. It was at that moment that I saw a young mother carrying a child about a year old. She was sitting at a nearby table, looking at the diners as they munched into their burgers and fries. Something was off, I said to myself. My interest, now, was focused on the young mother who was obviously waiting for a few scraps of food from the diners. She was saying something I could not hear. I thought, she's probably asking for money. And just then the security guard came over to her motioning her to step outside.
As I was watching the woman struggle and plead with security, I felt something happen inside of me. I could easily just ignore them and wait for my order and walk away. Not get involved. But I thought, I could buy them a meal, it would not cost much. I spend a whole lot more on non-essentials why not a Php 50 meal? I was having a fight with myself then. You see, I was unknowingly pre-programmed not to care about peddlers and beggars. They were just a nuisance of society. I have done it in the past and walked away, why should today be any different? I tried to avoid her gaze, but it was as if her eyes were compelling me to look. The guards were now a little hard on her and she kept saying something I could not understand, but as she drew closer to me, I heard her say - "Please, please, my child and I are just hungry. Please." she begged. And I was surprised to hear a croaked voice say, "let her go, she's with me." Was that me? Yes it was. She gave me a tearful smile that spoke of her gratefulness. I felt my heart swell up like a balloon. I ordered them a meal.
As I handed her the food, she touched my hand and a tear fell down her face. She said, "thank you, thank you so much. we haven't eaten in two days." I wanted to hug them both, i wanted to adopt them as I felt my heart swell and ache, but all I said was "you're welcome, now eat your food" and then I left.
As I was walking away from there I could still feel her eyes boring in my shoulderblades. When things in our lives are going great and you have nothing to complain about, it's easy to forget about God. It is easy to think that YOU were the author of your success.What if that happened to me? What if I become so poor that I didn't have anything to give my child to eat? Would anybody care? Probably not! If nobody will care, then who will? It was then that I realized how blessed I was. I was blessed to have a steady job that earns me money to buy a burger, enough money to buy a car, enough money to pay my bills, and enough money to feed my family. I had a lot of things going well in my life and all she needed was someone who will care enough to share a little grace.
If we are receipients of a lot of blessings and grace, we should continue to pass around the blessing by being the source of blessings and grace to other people.