In my Monday morning rushing to work, I never made breakfast (it seems gone are my days of eating jam toast on my way out the door!) or coffee so I ‘had time for’ Tim Hortons in our prairie suburban rush hour.
My XL and bagel safely tucked as my new passenger, and my window still rolled down, I heard from outside a gentleman call to me “Excuse me ma’am, could you spare some change?” He looked rough. Unshaven. Gray and perhaps in his 50’s. Waiting around the corner for anyone sparing some Monday morning mercy.
I was more startled than anything as I drove out of the drive-through, but my reaction, which I ponder, was to say “Sorry, not today” and drive on.
Now, I have on occasion taken people to fast food who’ve asked me for money – preferring to see them fed than assume they would be. Scepticism and protectionism has caused our society to block off all those in need in considerable amounts of assumption that our generosity will be wasted on booze and cigs. Don’t deny it, we all feel it. But I immediately felt a twinge of “hmmmm”.
Was it a moment I completely failed to be interrupted? Did I handle that correctly? Could I really just not spare some change? And my lingering question… “What really would Jesus do there?”
Could I not train myself to react in quick moments such as these differently. More sensitively. Yes. I could. And that is up to me. Because today, I drove away thinking “I could’ve done more than that.”
See … I too feel that I became in need of Monday morning mercy. If for nothing else than just learning to be more aware.