sandwich

i cried today

i havent really cried much since being here. but i did today

at around 10:30am, i needed a break from editing my document
and went to a market to get some coffee and snacks

after grabbing pumpkin seeds, instant coffee and
2 packets of Jacobs 3in1 Latte powder, I walked to the counter

a 30+ year old woman was buying
- 2 loafs of bread [.80 bani each - well they'd be more like .20 cents USD]
- a little can of meat and
- a sandwich.

the bill rang up, and she pulled out 3 lei and a handful of change....all equal to probably about $1.25 US...

after counting all her change, she realized she couldnt afford the sandwhich,
took out the sandwhich from her basket and handed it to the shop keeper
after the sandwhich was taken off the bill,
she counted again and still didnt have enough
while counting, the shop keeper just nodded, said something positive and took what she had
...

i stood there,
directly behind her,
completely frozen...

with 30Lei in my pocket [$10 US]

i just stood there, watching.
not knowing what to do

in the states I would have just leaned over and asked if i could have helped or would have just thrown down the money and said 'dont worry about it'

but here, i just stood there

i justified it by saying i was an american, who didnt know the language;
not wanting to 'act better' not wanting to cause any 'disrespect'

but after i paid for my frivolous snack and drink items

i left crying
so ashamed
so needing forgiveness
feeling so horrible

i mean, I, who have everything
yes i have debt and student loans etc,
but i do have credit and cash on hand and yet
i didnt help

i just stood there like an idiot
and watched it all take place in front of me

i had such an internal battle of to help or not to help
wanting to not act better etc.
but why did that hold me back
i think my social work education and working day to day for a non-profit
has stifled my natural sense of giving, grace and true helping

i call myself a 'humanitarian worker, and yet i didnt even help in the truest sence of 'humanity'
'i dont want to act like an american who has everything'
ew

why did i even think like that
i should have just bought her the sandwhich

i cant believe i didnt

2 comments:

Katie said...

Thanks for this honesty, Christie. I have these moments all the time. I know that sometimes I have the failure of "overthinking" a situation so I can rationalize my choice to take the easy way out. I think the worst part is that sometimes, most times, I don't cry over it...I block it from my thoughts so that I don't feel bad.

I'm glad we can learn and struggle through this together, but I hope you aren't feeling guilt. Conviction, yes. Compassion, yes. A desire to change and act more and more like Jesus, yes. But not guilt. And thanks be to God for grace.

Looking forward to seeing your face soon.

danny & christie said...

Katie you are so wonderful. thank you for your note. i cant wait to see you too. will be so good to cath up, think, and just talk together