“It’s a gift.”
The words easily rolled off my tongue. I meant it.
A new school year has begun, placing my husband back to work. Translation: Our summer days of living as if we were truly retired have come to an end.
Dave works for a company that services our local schools. Each day, late in the afternoon, he gets his work order for the following day. However, no contact was made for the first day of school. This seemed unusual to me, “Are you going to go in anyway, just in case you were accidently overlooked?”
“No, no work order means I’m not working.”
What we thought was our last full day together actually was not. We had one more to enjoy each other’s company. Hence, my ‘gift’ comment.
Not only had we received a gift, but I also had an opportunity to give a gift.
I was about to enter a small grocery store when a young man approached me. “Excuse me ma’am, could you help me out? This is not easy for me ask, but could you give me some money? My car is out of gas and I am in need of getting some formula and diapers for my baby, along with some food for the week too. I won’t get paid until next week.”
That is a lot of need. I hesitated at first. But have come to recognize our Good Lord knows who should be approached to meet some needs once in a while. Our family has known need from time to time too.
“I can go with you across the street to Target and help you purchase some things. Would that work for you?”
“I’m not sure they have everything, but my car needs gas too.”
“Would it help more if I got you gas instead?”
“That would be nice, if you could do that.”
We met at the corner station and as I filled his gas tank he proceeded to go to others nearby petitioning them. I realized there was a male passenger in the car. Be careful girl, you are alone.
Upon his return, “This is so good of you. Most people just tell me no and to shove off. They don’t give a damn about my needs. I went to my church, and they refused to help me too. I really need the money for diapers and formula, food too. I live in Paola, but was here to see my girlfriend.” The more he talked, the more flaws I recognized.
“What church do you go to?” He gave a generic name just about every community has.
“Let me call my husband, he will be expecting me home soon. “Hi Babe, listen I have received a ministry opportunity and may be a little late. There is a chance I might be going to Walmart, but I will let you know when we can meet up.”
“Would you like me to follow you up to Walmart where I might be able to help a little bit?”
“Oh no ma’am, you have already helped so much. All I need now is money.”
I could see where this is going. He wanted cash, nothing else would do.
“Well, if you change your mind, let me know. God be with you,” as we parted ways.
Almost at the grocer for the second time, I realized I didn’t get my receipt at the gas station. Rushing back, can I remember which fuel pump we were at? I did and it was still hanging there waiting for me.
Finally, arriving at the store for the third time, there the young man was. Asking for help to anyone who would listen. Red flags flew as the light dawned.
He was peddling at locations that did not have what he claimed he needed. This grocery store was limited in merchandise, but what they did have was good prices. There was a risk in seeking help at Target or Walmart because he may encounter someone willing to do what I did. Meet his supposed need, what he wanted was money.
He may or may not have a girlfriend and a baby. Only God knows. Having filled his gas tank, I may have enabled him to carry on his quest for cash. He may have considered me a fool. What he would do with the money is anyone’s guess. But…
Listening to my phone call, he learned I considered him a ministry. On our closing conversation he received my blessing of God being with him.
I am no gardener, but seeds were planted. What is done in the name of Jesus is never wasted. Never forget that.