Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Giving What I Am Asked

The way I handle giving to the poor is that I give them whatever they ask for if I am capable. Therefore, if someone walks up to me and asks me for $.50 for bus fee or a couple of bucks for a burger, I give it to them, no more and no less. I consider that if someone comes into my life and asks me specifically for something, that’s the Lord who placed them in my life. Do they use the money on alcohol after I leave the picture? I don’t know. However, I can only hope not. Ever since I decided to do this, every single person who has come up to me has not just asked me for money. They have been specific about the amount. Also, I have always seemed to have the money on me.

The first morning in Vegas, I awoke very early due to the time change. I decided to go out on the strip and find a place to do my Bible study. At 7am, the strip was very lonely. The only people on the strip were joggers and those few who are still up from the night before. I found a park bench along the sidewalk just outside of NY, NY that was quiet. I had barely sat down when I heard, “Excuse me.” I looked up to see a young, thin African American woman in her 20’s approaching me. I knew she was talking to me since I was the only other person in the vicinity. I began to wonder what she was going to ask me for. She was well dressed with a bubbly voice, so I did not suspect her to be homeless. A couple of bucks would not cut it for this girl. I happened to have about $70 in my pocket just in case I needed a cab or something…sort of a safety measure. Well, this was going to be a test of my faith, because I usually don’t carry this amount of cash. What did this girl need? Did she lose all of her money gambling, and need a bus ticket back home to who knows where? Was she robbed and need a cab back to her hotel? Cabs were expensive in this town. All that I had on me was my Bible, wallet, and a little water left in a water bottle I was sipping on.

The girl walked over and sat down next to me on the bench. She introduced herself as Maya. That’s my niece’s name, so it was easy for me to remember. Maya was smoking a cigarette and began telling me what happened last night. She had a fight with her boyfriend and snuck out of her hotel room. She does not normally drink, but was so mad that she drank all night and was still drunk. She doesn’t normally smoke either, but she was trying to get rid of the alcohol smell. Her boyfriend was coming to pick her up shortly and they were leaving town. She said, “I am so drunk right now, and I don’t want him to know. Could I have a sip of your water? I won’t put my mouth on the bottle.” This was what she wanted? I gave her the water and wished her well, praying for her on and off for the rest of the trip. Most of the time, I give a dollar or two. This day, I shared my water with a girl named Maya.


Haley said...

Love your heart, Auny. I don't think it was a coincidence that her name is Maya, either. She'll probably stay with you longer than most of the people with whom you come into contact.