The other day as I walked into a wholesaler to buy sweets, an old lady stopped me asking for money to purchase food. Neither #SuperM or I ever have cash on us so we couldn’t help her right then and we felt awful. But she asked if we could find it in our hearts to get her anything in the store. I don’t recall the store having food supplies but I told her that we’d get her something. She was grateful and said she’d wait for us outside.
Now before you continue reading, this is not about how good my husband and I am. I’m telling this story to share three profound messages… Lessons that I learnt anew that day.
The woman had tears in her eyes and I could see the courage it must have taken her to stand on the streets and “beg”. Being confronted by poverty is sobering. Reading about it or watching it on the news is sad but bearing witness to it. Guys, my heart has not been this sore in ages. People are struggling to survive out there. It. Is. Real. So if you have any spare change or supplies, please donate.
If you don’t know who to donate to then ask God to guide you. Or to send someone your way. This is often the way we bless people. I don’t go looking. We ask God to send people our way. Sometimes it’s during times that we don’t really have spare to give but hey, whatever I don’t have there’s always someone who has less than that. The trick is to become a cheerful giver.
There will always be people out there who will try to take advantage of your kindness. I can’t tell you what to do in those instances… What I do is pray for discernment and for God to calm my sometimes raging heart. My MO on that is that if you want to take advantage of my kindness don’t think I fell for it. I’m responsible for what I do and you are responsible for what you do. Trust me, this is not a trait you learn overnight. It took a lot of bargaining and debates with God on this one. I told you… This post isn’t about how good my husband and I are.
When we entered the store I immediately set off to find food supplies. They had all the basics and it warmed my heart to be in a position to bless someone. I was ecstatic. Only problem was that when we left the store, the lady was nowhere to be found.
We spent about ten minutes walking in different directions trying to find the lady. At which point, we resigned ourselves to the fact that she’d left and went to the car. I can’t begin to tell you how deflated I felt. We had agreed that I’d get her outside but she left. I can only assume that she left because she does not have a lot of faith in humanity. She probably thought we wouldn’t keep to our word. And I can’t blame her. I can’t blame a great many people for feeling that way. I too struggle to believe in people at times.
We are careless with our word and don’t often keep to it. I am guilty of this too. I would promise to do something and end up forgetting all about it. A year’s worth of promises came crashing down on me that day. I stopped after that. Guilt tripping is not a journey I enjoy. I can however try to do better in future. Stop myself from committing, only to disappoint people.
I can only imagine how many people she tried to approach that day before she approached us. How difficult every no was. How her hopes were dashed when people would walk out of a store and look the other way after they’d told her they would buy her something. Can any of you imagine having to beg for your next meal? I can’t because I’ve never had to. I do however know the stress of not being able to make ends meet sometimes but the utter relief when the next payday rolls around. Yep, I didn’t always work well with my finances. Occasionally I still make that mistake but thank goodness my husband takes this into consideration. I love a bargain and gift shop all year around. Don’t. Be. Like. Me.
Lastly… Have you ever heard the saying about giving up before you get your blessing? We ask God to bless us, yet we grow weary and run out of patience. We know God’s time is not our time, but we give up when it’s not “delivered” on our timeline. Of all the messages of that day, this was the most profound.
I’m fairly certain that lady prayed before she left home that morning. She asked God to help her. Prayed for a blessing. Yet the moment before she received her blessing, she gave up. This was God telling me directly: “Keep on, keeping on.” Ordering me to have faith.
And guys, as I’m typing this, I’m reminded of all the times I have given up. How I nearly give up every time. Of right now, when I want to give up on a dream too. My husband and I have been praying for our own home for years. Over the years we came so close to purchasing homes, only to have a deal go sour or I’d get retrenched or something. Our lives changed drastically every single time and it seemed like it would never happen.
Then two years ago we applied for house in a new development. Our bond was approved immediately, our insurance selected and everything that goes into a purchase was just about sorted. I even met my new neighbour whom on the two occasions I did see her, wasn’t pleasant but hey, no new neighbours are going to be as lovely as my current crowd. They are the best!
The problem however is that our house is still being built. I see it every single day and right before lockdown it looked like there was some progress and now nothing. Don’t get me wrong. Lockdown is not the problem. We should have been happily living there for over a year now. But lots has happened in the interim. We’ve had to go for reassessment of the bond amongst other things and everything is still good to go from a financial perspective. It’s just that nothing is coming or going.
We are utterly happy where we are now and I can see the many reasons why we’re not in our home yet. We are obviously needed where we are right now. God’s timing is not ours. Knowing this hasn’t prevented me from almost giving up again. In fact, the other day I asked my husband if we shouldn’t just look for another home. But then I was reminded of giving up right before your blessing. It’s been years that I’ve longed to sit in my own home. Something that seems so far out of reach at times.
Don’t get me wrong. I have a roof over my head, my family is safe and warm. We live in comfort and experience true joy. There are many people who dream of this daily and never get their dreams fulfilled. I am grateful for what I do have and don’t count my blessings based on my material possessions. It’s just, when the ball starts rolling, you have certain expectations. You lose perspective and forget God’s promises.
It took an old lady whom I will probably never see again, to give me a refresher on lessons that I already know but am careless about. So just in case you’re still living the lockdown life and you forgot what day it is, it’s Sunday 21 June 2020. And on this day I’d like you to leave you with this…
If you don’t already, try to cultivate a culture of giving. No man or woman is an island and at one time or another we all need one another. Besides, giving releases some feel good energy and can give you a high for days.
Be impeccable with your word. Don’t think about days or years gone by, think about the here and now. Let’s restore our faith in humanity. It takes all of us. Remember people will only know kindness once they have experienced it. Let’s make the circle bigger.
Don’t ever give up on a dream. Don’t give up when you’re anticipating a blessing either. Especially not then. God’s timing is not ours.
Please feel free to drop a comment below to tell me your stories or lessons you have learnt recently.