Friday, March 14, 2008

$20.00. Whose Life Did It Help Save? Seriously.

I may never know the answer to this question.

Today I called my mom to see if she wanted to get out and go shopping with me and my babies. Well, she did.

We did some banking, we went to the humongous Dollar Tree around town, and we went to WalMart. That's where the $20 came in.

As I was going in, I stopped to talk to the Girl Scout gals to see how long they would be there because I needed to get some groceries but would stop on the way back out to get some. I'm such a sucker for those Thin Mints!

Anyway, I was thinking about getting 3 boxes since I actually had the green cash on me today. She told me it'd come to around $10. I only had $7. So I decided that when I checked out my groceries with my debit card, I'd get "cash back."

Well, around here, "cash back" when using your debit card starts at $20 instead of $10. So that's what I got. $20.

As I walked out of the store, I changed my mind and decided to only get 2 boxes of Girl Scout cookies instead of 3. That'd be a total of $7. That's what I originally had in my pocket. So that ended up leaving me with that $20 bill.

I got to my van where my mom was still sitting with my babies when a man approached me. Seems like he came out of nowhere.

But there he came and stood within a couple of yards of me.

I'm thinking, "oh no." He proceeded to talk. He said "Maam, can you help me? I really need help." All the while, I was watching his every move. One arm had a jacket hanging over it. Was anything in that hand?

I didn't see anything, but I wasn't totally sure.

I watched while his other hand went up toward his neck. I just didn't know.

He told me he had "sickle cell" and he needed some medicine. The rest of his story was a blur because as he talked, I could hear a message in my head that my pastor preached several weeks ago. I'll tell that message in a bit.

I asked him how much he needed. He said he needed about $20 - $25. He said he'd even work for it.

Okay. That's weird. I just got $20 back. I reached in my pocket and got out that $20 bill and told him that I really didn't even know if he was telling me the truth or not. But I'd give him the money I had. He then asked if I wanted help putting the groceries in the van.

I said "no, that's ok." And he went on his way to the next person.

----------------------------------------

I don't know if he was honest or not. There's that 50/50 chance. But I'm happy with my decision to give him the money. He may have really needed that medicine for sickle cell, or he may have just wanted illegal drugs. Who knows.

But I find it strange that I NEVER ask for cash back. I didn't even know how it worked until today.

While this young man was talking, most of what he said became a blur because I started remembering a message from my Pastor. He said that it seems like anywhere he goes, people find him. People he doesn't know find him and ask for money. And he gives it to them not knowing for sure if their circumstances are for real. He said that really that money could be a matter of life or death for them in the sense that maybe they were really depressed that morning and said "OK God, if You're real, please let someone give me the money I ask for." Or "please show me that You're real." Maybe it'd be just enough that they wouldn't take their life or wouldn't give up on God.

I don't know if that was the case, if he really needed medicine or not. If he did, I hope that he was able to buy it. Or I hope that he could see God in me somehow.

If he was NOT sincere, I'm still glad I had the money to give him. Maybe it saved MY life.

4 comments:

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Nicki said...

Girl.....that is some GOOD stuff!! i love to see God working in ways that we cannot know or even understand sometimes, we just have to be obedient, and the rest will come!! Praise Him for using you!!!

Joanna said...

That's good!!

freetofly said...

I love this story! I love how the Holy Spirit leads us in ways that we don't totally "get" but we know it's Him, we know it's directed by God. Our church has dubbed this the "Year of Living Dangerously" as we pursue understanding of really how Jesus lived in His culture. How it wasn't a sanitary, tame "church" service...the real stuff is messy! Faith comes at a price...Just think of Jesus spitting and making the mud on the blind man's eyes!

Loved this!

Nice to meet you!
Maria