Like I just mentioned in my post last night, "things will surprise you around the corner..." Well it just happened.
This week I was asked by two ladies who sell tamales in front of a bakery up the street if I had any clothes to spare of Sofia's since our daughters were about the same size. I told her I'm sure I did and when I got home I asked Sofia if she would mind going through her clothes and toys for this little girl. I don't think I've had a prouder moment watching Sofia give up some pretty neat toys, purses and clothes. She REALLY wanted to do this and didn't just want to give her the old, dumpy stuff. Even at one point she said she would give her this dress up outfit and I had to interject because it had sentimental value (ok, as I type this I'm thinking to myself, what??? So I get a "C" in parenting for that one, but surely you can understand?...)
Anyway, today I walked to the bakery to get bread and they saw me and asked me about the clothes. I told them I actually had gone through them and will bring them back today. They then asked me how old Liam was cause they have family having babies in May and then proceeded to ask me if I had some of my clothes because her and I were about the same size. Ok, so now I was getting annoyed (for several reasons :) I thought to myself "anything else you need like maybe Lee's clothes?" I know this was NOT the Christian attitude, I'm very aware that I was wrong but in the moment that's just honestly what I was thinking.
Anyway, I came home and Maddox helped me sort out all the stuff and just 10 minutes ago Maddox, Lee and I drove back to give them the stuff. I told Lee I needed him there in case I couldn't figure out the words because I wanted to tell them that I don't mind giving them things at all and even will have a lot more to give in the future but PLEASE don't ask so many times (oh by the way this had been the fourth encounter with them asking for our stuff, not the first.)
As we drive up the two ladies came to the car (as well as two other boys) and I started handing out the stuff and getting ready for my little speech and what did they DO??? They gave me two things of tamales. OUCH. Well my speech disappeared as well as my pride. What was I thinking??? Who am I to think that I wouldn't do the EXACT same thing if I wasn't in their situation. I ask for discounts everywhere I go and I'm well provided for, who knows what I would ask for if I wasn't.
That was the exact "church moment" I needed this Sunday morning. I hope I can always look at someone with eyes of Jesus no matter what they are asking for or how many times.
The rest of the story.... The two little boys that came up to the car were begging for money. I asked them over and over if they were in school and they both said yes until the older one called the little one out and said "he doesn't go to school, I do." I told the older one we could help him with his school supplies for school and told the younger one that if he went to school we could help him too. Kids here are in dire need of school supplies everywhere. They looked at me weird and then asked for money again for food. I gave them each a sole (like .30 cents) and told them they had to go inside and buy bread. They looked at me like a crazy woman but went into the bakery and came back out saying they were out of bread. I said "there is no bread in a BAKERY???" so I said "fine just go buy something to eat." The two ladies are looking at me this whole time and probably are saying to themselves "let's not ask for anything else because who knows what she'll make us do" but I really wanted them to eat and not have to give the money up to whoever was making them pan-handle.
They finally came out with a cup of juice and a muffin, holding it up in the air. I had to laugh at myself cause I'm sure they were thinking "HERE, we have food, now GO!" Maybe I'll be known as the "mean bread lady" on the street but hey, they might get to eat once in a while :)
Blessings to all of you on this Sunday morning. I leave you with this quote from a book my sweet friend Diane gave me on missionary women:
"As you pray for opportunities to influence people for God, you may be guided to say kind words to a friend or give a carefully chosen book to a family member. God doesn't need much; one wise act can have positive effects for generations."
May I remember that daily in my walk here in Lima.