I posted this story on Facebook this morning and it prompted a very interesting discussion, so I thought I would share it with you as well:
I dreamed last night that I was in a café and a sweet little old lady came up to me to ask for some financial help. I just had a $20 dollar bill and a few singles in my wallet. I figured if she's asking then she needs it more than I do, so gave it all to her. I sat and visited with her for a few minutes as she shared with me her struggles. Then I went to the counter to pay for my coffee, but when I pulled out my wallet again to get my check card, my wallet was empty... everything was gone... driver's license and all. This sweet little old lady had stolen everything out of my wallet. When I questioned her about it, she cried and told me she “had to do it”... She had already passed off the contents of my wallet to someone else who was long gone from the café and already using my charge card on whatever. I spent the rest of the night closing accounts and attempting to put my life back together again. I'm exhausted... but strangely I'm not angry with the sweet little old lady. Thoughts?
A dear friend of mine responded with this scripture reading:
Luke 6:29 29(E) To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30(G) Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.
As I said in the beginning, this was a dream. Had it been real life, I’m certain fear and panic would have consumed my emotions, and I don’t know that I would’ve been so kind. I also can’t help but think that many of us are one paycheck, or one drink, or one gambling debt away from becoming this sweet little old lady. Who knows what drove her to her circumstances, but as Christ would tell us, it’s up to us to help her find her way back on a firm foundation.
So, the next time you see a sweet little old lady in a café, who looks like she’s seen hard times, clutch your wallet… and show a little compassion.