I can’t get her face out of my memory, and I feel terribly guilty.  I can’t shake it, though I have tried.

She was frail looking, old, wrinkled, weathered and obviously either homeless or close to it.  The image of her standing at the driver’s side window of my car—in her old dress, socks that sagged around her ankles and almost dripped into her battered shoes, and the white plastic bag she held with whoknowswhat in it—and looking at me.  I held up my hand in a “stop” signal and shook my head.  She walked away.  She didn’t say a word, but there have been voices in my head ever since.

“…for the least of your brethren….”

I was leaving a McDonalds in a small town on my way to the property—my Walden.  As I headed to the door from the inside, I could see her walking across the parking lot.  I did not want the encounter, and I have a hard time with all the cons who panhandle but don’t need it.  I have grown cynical and somewhat hardened these past few years—I admit it—and that goes against my nature.  I envisioned her coming forward in search of funds or assistance, and I did not want any part of that…I did not want my cynicism fed.  I hurried to the car, and as the engine started she arrived at my car’s side.

“…for the least of your brethren…”

She didn’t say a word, but her eyes spoke volumes.  When I shook my head, she merely walked away.  No drama.  No angst.

“…blessed be the meek…”

I drove down the farm-to-market road to continue my trip, the image of her face strongly in my mind, and the image of her standing 30 paces away, a diminutive woman turned down by a guy who projected his own frustrations with humanity onto her motivations.

I have shared this story since, and a friend said, “Don’t let the possibility of her being deceptive ruin your desire to help.  If you are generous, fine, and if she was not as she appeared, then that is her issue with God, not yours.”  Amen.

“…for the least of your brethren…”

I don’t imagine that the voices will leave any time soon, as well they shouldn’t.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s