Memorable Moments in an Alien World

{September 28, 2011}   What’s Better Than Money?

I’ve spent a lot of time in cafes this week for their internet, as the place where I am currently staying doesn’t have any. It affords me the opportunity to get to know the feel of the area I’m in. Much of my time today was spent pretending I didn’t hear a very boisterous young man’s conversation. I’m quite certain he was pleased that EVERYONE heard it. I’m just lucky, I suppose.

While I was trying to ignore the most self-involved conversation I have ever heard (and get some work done in the process), I had an older gentleman approach my table and say, “How are you?” “I’m fine…just very busy,” I replied.

“You know today is my birthday and my family is waiting in the car. I really want Italian food for my birthday. I was recently laid off and…(sob story).” At the end of it, I said, “I’m relocating right now and I really don’t have much I can give you.” I asked him about his work situation and how life was going in general. I gave him a dollar and said, “You may not have much money and I may not have much money but we always have prayer to give. Is there anything I can pray for you about?” He said, “Well, yes, of course.” So I prayed for him and yet I sense it was less for him than for the people that were around us. Maybe to awaken them to God. Maybe just to reveal human compassion. Maybe it was even for me – a chance to be bold in my alien environment (it truly does feel alien). That moment, that instance of being able to pray for another person, was certainly a high point of my day.

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