A young man asks a woman in a professional uniform exiting an expensive foreign car for a donation for his organization. She smiles sheepishly and replies “not today.” He repeats her answer back to her loudly and shakes his head in front of people passing by. He exchanges a look with his comrade. He’s got her type pegged. All that wealth and no heart for others. The young man is pretty proud of himself, shaming the woman for her flippant answer. She should be generous. Obviously she has the money to give if she can afford a car like the one she drives. What the young man does not know is that the car is the last remnant of a life she once had, before her circumstances changed. That the windshield wiper fluid pump, the trunk door, and the key fob are all broken and she hasnt had the ability to fix them, that the interior of the car is smeared with flood water mud from two years ago that she hasnt spent the cash to clean. It looks shiny and expensive from the outside. What the young man is unaware of is that she is just returning to work part time in her professional uniform, that she has been making minimum wage for the past two years and has been relying on others to carry her from bill to bill because her paycheck falls short. What the young man fails to realize is that the reason the woman said no to him was because now that she has a small profit in her pocket, that money is earmarked for the produce warehouse that fed her for free when she had enough money for the mortgage or food but not both, because others left money that was used to cover her veggies, for the listener supported radio station that played the christian songs her soul needed to hear when there was no hope left on her darkest days, and for the pastor whose sermons she’s been listening to for free for two years because she hasn’t had the money to pay up front for his knowledge and spiritual wisdom… member donations being the source of his salary in a very small church. What he doesnt know is that the money she couldnt give him is not for her but for others. I tell this story so that people will realize, you never know what is going on in someone’s life. God may already be at work. He has many gardeners spreading and watering seeds. Don’t cut down a sapling because it is in the way of you planting a seed when the end goal is a forest of trees.

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