Tuesday, June 17, 2008

4 Red Beauties

I discretly watched his aged hands reach out for a package of ripened tomatoes. His sorrowful expression hesitated before touching the four red beauties, and then just stopped mid-air as though struck by some fearful voice. I stood only a couple of feet away sifting through soggy cucumbers, but could not resist watching the silent story unfold before me as the frail man slowly reached in his back right pocket with a shaken hand withdrawing a warn black leather wallet. He humbly fingered through his meager treasure, and then returned his gaze upon his hunger. His thoughts seemed to stumble back and forth before returning his meek wallet back to his eager pocket. He then opened the package and touched each plump tomato before choosing his treasure.

My thoughts were in a tither; do I offer to pay for the tomatoes? Do I politely give him money for groceries? I didn't want to offend him, I didn't want to embarrass him. He struck me as a man who had worked hard all of his life, a man of good character and virtues (Like my father). My thoughts went so far as to ponder if he had children? Did he loose his wife? But still I did nothing, I said nothing. I am left with a deep regret, and an ache in my heart for those who do not beg, who do not seek assistance but silently suffer in poverty.

Mother Teresa's spoke with tender wisdom when she said, "To smile at someone who is sad; to visit for even a little while, someone who is lonely; to give someone shelter from the rain with our umbrella; to read something for someone who is blind: These and others can be small things, but they are appropriate to give our love of God concrete expression to the poor."

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