As I was coming to work this morning, I met a young boy, or should I say the young boy followed me, and started asking me for money. Having been conned before using a very indeed deeply disturbing story of his life, a young man had touched the soft spot in my heart, and I had given him some money. Only for me to find him doing the same thing again a few weeks later, in the same sorry school uniform, telling me the exact same sordid story…
Well, I’m not supposed to be complaining here. I am planning to tell you what happened. This young man wanted me to give him ten shillings to buy tea for breakfast, that he hadn’t taken any. “Si oleo,” (Not today), I told him. I didn’t have the money.
He kept on following me. My heart began to soften. “Aki auntie sijakula. Nina njaa,” he said. (I haven’t had anything to eat, I’m hungry), he said in Swahili.
Ok, let’s see, I began to think to myself. It was early in the morning; hardly any decent restaurants would be open at that hour. Then I saw a shop, two little mini-shops. I went and asked if they had any cakes. Long story short, I bought the little lad some juice and cakes, and he began to open the juice right away.
My heart turned. He indeed had been hungry. And I could have walked away. I’m not talking about how good I am. What stood out for me the most was that perhaps, just perhaps, that is what God does with us. We ask for ‘ten shillings’ and he buys and gives us something worth so much more. He meets our real need. He doesn’t give us what we think might satisfy us. Ten shillings cannot buy decent breakfast anywhere. Our dreams may be well below what God knows we truly need.
I’ll end with a quote from Elizabeth Barrett Browning; God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.