Shopping Can Wait

I have finished the post I promised with more shopping stories and I was about to post it when something happened. This is not the first time this has happened by a long shot, but today it got me bad. And why these things can’t happen during the times I’m alone in the office, I don’t know.  I’ve got my crying down to about twice a month, but they really don’t know what to do with me when it starts and I’m trying desperately to hide it.

Background: yesterday a sweet young man, age 5ish, came in alone while I was here alone, and handed me a receipt and 5,000 + shillings, apparently the change for the tube of medicine he had. I asked if he needed to wait for one of the staff and he said no. He speaks good English.  So I gave him some candy and off he went and I  didn’t think too much about it. When Pastor Emmanuel returned, he told me the young man was also to pick up some medication from here, which I didn’t know.  The child lives somewhere in town so I offer to take it to him. Only problem is, we don’t know exactly where he lives and his guardian has no phone.

Just a few minutes ago he returned, and  for a few minutes I am alone with him. I asked if he had come back for the other medication and he said yes. We sat and waited for Pastor Emmanuel to return and sort of chatted.  He is a beautiful, cheerful child who obviously works hard on his studies if he has learned so much English already. Also, I couldn’t help noticing his clothes were very tattered and dirty, his white socks were practically black, his shoes were in awful shape.

This is a hard part for me and I bet it would be for you too. Naturally, I wanted to scoop him up and take him and buy him all new things.  Who wouldn’t? But of course, you can’t.  I don’t know his guardian. I don’t want to imply that other people are not caring for him appropriately, especially since he’s probably an orphan being cared for by kind people who are already stretched. I don’t to be judgey. I wouldn’t want him to get a butt-whopping on the playground. I wouldn’t want him to think I think his things aren’t good enough. I don’t want to reinforce the impression that mzungus are rich and think throwing money at a problem will solve it. And it’s clothes- not the most important thing in the world, despite what other cultures have to say.

I know. I know! We don’t need nice clothes for happiness.  Our idea of needs vs. wants  is very different.  I’m wearing a new dress today that I had made for me with a gorgeous African print I chose. Because I was tired of the seven or eight other things I have to wear. We’re not even talking right now about access to food or clean water or medical care but justice keeps punching me in the chest.

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5 Responses to Shopping Can Wait

  1. Erik Greenbaum says:

    Thank you Judy for helping us all keep “life” in perspective.

    Erik erik_greenbaum@comcast.net 434-987-5698 cell

    _____

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jccrosby2014 says:

    Thank you Eric for reading!

    Like

  3. Meems says:

    Oh my gosh, you know me, I am crying and my heart is aching. I understand the reasoning behind this message,but, it just so hard to accept. Those children need so much, especially, a big hug and telling them we love love them and so does God! The material things we sure don’t need..we have so much…….Blessings to you my sweet Judy..and to Pastor Noel!♥♥♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Charlcie Fielding says:

    And in that chest is a BIG heart. Thanks for the Blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Maggie O'C says:

    Oh Miss Judy, you are the perfect person to be there and I know your heart aches but you have taken on the tough jobs with kids for decades. The world needs you and is lucky to have you.
    xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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