Thursday, November 8, 2012
As I was quickly rushing from place to place running my daily errands, I was approached in the middle of my quest to get to my car and head to the next place by a man dressed in shabby clothes who looked like he hadn't showered for a few days. He asked if I had any cash to spare. But I was focused and in a hurry and quickly responded "Sorry I don't have any cash on me" and rushed to my car. I instructed my kids to get buckled, pulled out and left and didn't think anything of it. As we pulled out of the parking lot my 8 year-old daughter asks me "Mom, why didn't you help him? I saw dollars in your purse in the store." My heart immediately sunk. I had no rational answer. All I could do was sigh and tell her how right she was. I tried to justify it in my thoughts though. I was in a hurry and focused on completing all the tasks I had to do that day. But I still knew in my heart that I was wrong. I proceeded through the day without reflecting much on it until I knelt down to pray before crawling into bed. A sudden rush of emotions came over me as I proceeded to thank the Lord for all that I am blessed with. I knew I had missed an opportunity to serve a child of God, a brother. But the most precious thing about it is who brought it my attention. Had Tanaya not said anything to me earlier that day I probably would've not even thought about when I knelt down to pray. She was used as an instrument of the Lord reminding me of my responsibilities as mother, teacher and disciple of the Lord. I can rationalize all day that I was focused on completing task necessary for my family. But seriously, how long would have taken for me to pull out a few dollars for this man. Some argue that you risk the chance of enabling these individuals of throwing away what they get on alcohol and other addictive behaviors. But what have we learned by justifying an unwillingness to serve based on probable speculations. The Lord judges us by our acts and deeds, not by whether these individuals choose to use our contribution to feed an addiction. I realize that I can't worry about whether an individual is going to make good use of any contributions I provide. I should worry about whether I act upon each every opportunity the Lord places in my path. More importantly, I should worry about the example I am setting for my children. Unfortunately I will not be able to undo this particular mistake, but I can use it as a reminder to slow down and be mindful of the many opportunities the Lord gives us to serve. My rationalization was that I was focused! Or was I? I had to quickly refocus and reestablish that eternal perspective that helps us recognize the Lord in our everyday path. After this encounter I contemplated on how I can be a more effective servant of the Lord. I decided to always keep a few spare dollars in my purse (because I usually don't carry cash) along with some pass-along-cards. Not only am I fulfilling requests for a little bit of financial help, but I providing much needed spiritual help as well. I look forward to providing updates and I am grateful to such an amazing Father in Heaven for love, compassion, and awesome resources we have available to spread this beautiful gospel.