Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Can You Spare Some Change?

I work downtown in a big city.  I am quite accustomed to be asked for food, money (for food, naturally) and cigarettes.  There is one fellow, Daniel, who is often on the street corner between my office and the closest Starbucks. So I see him a lot.  I have bought him coffee and a muffin a few times, as do many other people.

This morning at Starbuck's, I sat down with my coffee to sneak a peak at the news before work.  My keester had just hit the chair when a woman approached me to ask for money so she could buy a muffin. 

I normally say no as, invariably, I have no actual money on me and I say in complete truth "I don't have any money". 

This morning, I happened to have some $1 and $2 coins on me.  I almost said no, but on occasion, I do like to lend a hand.  It reminds me how blessed I am in so many repsects.  I try to do this wisely.

"You're going to buy a muffin right?" I pointed to the pastry display.

"Yes, I'm hungry".

She looked a little rough, but she may well be hungry and tired.  As Jesus said "Feed my sheep."

I gave her $2. She already has $1 in her hand, so that would have been enough for a muffin.  I saw her approach another woman in the line up and I felt discomfited.

A second later, she looked at me, pointedly and said "I'm going to buy something at McDonald's instead".  I believe I saw a smirk.

I glared at her rather ungenerously.

The next thing I knew, the entire coffee shop were surprised by a very loud voice, with a great deal of venom, saying:


No one was as surprised as me, that it was me uttering the crude epithet.

It was a visceral reaction.  I felt taken in, misused, and extremely embarrassed.  No less so for having yelled that across a crowded Starbuck's. 

I am almost positive this is not what Jesus had in mind.

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