Give Up the Money

by Sanctified Brother

I shop with plastic and rarely walk with cash. It’s convenient for me and I prefer to do my shopping this way. Some stores, namely bodegas, don’t use ATM machines (and I wouldn’t trust my card to them anyway) so I have to keep a small amount of money with me. It has to be replenished when I spend it and I usually forget until I need to have cash on hand.

The other day was such a case. I was standing on line at the supermarket to pay for my groceries when a sheepish, lanky woman approached me. She asked for a quarter to buy her potatoes.

Yeah, right.

I asked her what she said (for clarification) and she softly repeated her request, struggling to lift the 5 pound bag of potatoes up so that I could see it. Her bony hand was clenched tight around the top of the bag of potatoes, the weight of it unbelievably heavy enough to give her trouble. Her arm trembled while she struggled to hold the bag steady. The weight of the bag shifted clumsily in harmony with her shakes. The poor woman looked desperate. Not crackhead desperate, just flat out desperate. Desperate enough to make a mother do the unthinkable to feed her family. Enough to compromise her womanhood and ethics so her children’s stomachs can be full tonight—and empty again tomorrow.

There were no needle tracks on her arms or between her fingers. The whites of her eyes were still white and she was in her right state of mind. All I had in my pocket was 28 cents so I gave her the quarter that she requested, no questions asked. It was a relief to see her stand on line to make her purchase afterward.

Jesus would have wanted me to help the woman out so I did. He places individuals in our paths and lives so that we can exercise grace and mercy to them like He does with us. How much sweat off my back is it to help someone with less than me? What about you? It’s not difficult at all. We were given more so that we can help someone with less.

Read this: Matthew 25:31-46

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