Over the years, we’ve made it a habit to go out to eat for our birthdays. We continued this in Costa Rica & we’ll continue in Peru. On my birthday we went to eat at a restaurant in the center of Huancayo. This was Easter weekend and there was a lot going on in the streets. One street in particular was outside the window of the restaurant we were eating at. This street had tents set with small tables to eat at. I saw something that I didn’t share with my family. I don’t know why, it just seemed private. I saw a man sitting on a curb watching people eat, and when a group of young people finished their meal, they left food behind on their plates. He jumped up, sat at their table, and quickly ate what was left over. He even checked their cups to see if there was any drink left. I’m not sure if he ate so fast because he was afraid he’d be chased off, which he wasn’t, or because he was just that hungry. I have to tell you, I thought about the tradition we have of eating out on our birthdays, and then deciding if we want desert, and I was very humbled. Don’t take me wrong, I don’t think it’s wrong to have small luxuries, but I need to keep things in perspective.
Living here we have just started to see the poverty. Children around our neighborhood are certainly malnourished. They might not be skinny, but you can tell by the color of their cheeks. This problem is not unique to Peru either. Not a day goes by when we don’t see someone begging on the street. This is usually a very old person or a young child. For some reason, watching this man touched me in a different way. I realized once again that I need to be more thankful for every blessing that I have in my life, and I need to use these blessings to bless the Lord. I pray that my heart will never grow hard to the people in need.
God knows exactly what will take place in our lives. He knows every detail and He works out the details for His glory and our good. We just need to look to our Father for help. At this point in time our lives feel like a very challenging puzzle. More importantly, we’re learning that we need to stop more often and just look to our Father for guidance along the way.
“He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” (Proverbs 19:17)
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
“For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11)
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)