The day was January 1, 2014. The sun shone brightly as I got out of the house to the nearest bus-stop to catch a ride to work. I was in a good mood; NYE was a blissful celebrations comprising music, crackers, food and family. With the motto of New Year, New Beginnings, I wanted to start my day on a good note. And I thought I succeeded, until I saw a bend in the road.
A shabby looking stranger came up to me, “Do you speak Hindi?” “I do,” said I, as I tried not to feel grossed out by his dirty teeth. “My mother met with an accident, can you please give me some money for the bus fare so that I can go and see her?” It wasn’t a lot of money that he was asking for, Rs 10 (0.162 USD) to be precise. Overcoming the initial hesitation, I was trying to judge by his looks whether he was really in need and coming to the conclusion based on his worn out clothes, I gave him the money.
Feeling proud to start the year on a charitable note, I stood a little straighter. Until I saw, from the corner of my eyes, the stranger was in no hurry to catch a bus. Two buses passed by, but rather than rushing to get in, to be with his mother ASAP, the stranger stood leaning against a tree.
Anger? No. Indignant? More like it. I know it wasn’t a million dollars that he had asked for, but to be so conniving. And what riches will Rs 10 probably fetch him? I guess a pint of liquor from the store next to which he was standing; disgusting. It’s because of people like him that many shrink from helping the ones who are really in need.
As I got inside the bus, fighting the urge to confront him and knock some sense for being immoral, I realized how many times I have lied to get out of work early. “There’s an emergency at home.” “I have to go to a doctor.” “I have to leave early because I have to interview so and so. (When in reality, I would interview them over the phone after hanging out with a friend).” While I was ready to stone him to death, I wasn’t really a perfect symbol of righteousness.
But love your enemies, and do good and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. (Luke 6:35)
Lend, hoping for nothing in return… Who says being a Christian is easy? (The ones who do, I want to punch you guys in the face :P) But then it’s one day at a time. One lesson a day. And judging by the looks of it, I have a long way to go.
Pssst… “People” is intentionally misspelled in Picture 1