On the way to pick up Ryan from preschool this afternoon, I passed a beggar on the street holding up a sign reading "NEED FOOD". I am nothing if not a liberal-hearted sucker, and seeing as how he was huddled over and crouched on the ground, I succumbed to my deepest yearnings and pulled into the nearest Wendy's to buy him a meal.
I went on to pick up Ryan first, and as I buckled her into the car, I explained that we were going to make a stop on the way home to give a hungry guy some food. I don' think she quite grasped the situation until we actually stopped and handed the guy his food, to which he glumly muttered his thanks and shuffled away.
As we were pulling away, she meekly whispered, "That was nice, Mommy." My heart soared as I perhaps caught the first glimpse of the spark iginiting in my little social worker's heart, and I seized the opportunity to (say it with me now ) "teach a lesson".
"You know, Ry, Jesus tells us that we should treat everyone as if they were Jesus himself, especially the poor and hungry who have nothing. He wants us to help them the way we would help Him."
"You mean that guy was JESUS?!?"
"No, baby. I just mean we should do for everyone what we would do for Jesus."
I was giving her some time to let it sink in as I made a U-Turn on the highway heading for home.
We looked over at our new friend as we passed by, leaving Ryan wondering aloud, "Why is that poor Jesus-man throwing our food into the woods??"
For once, I was without words.