Monday, October 8, 2007

feed my sheep

Today I met Doreen and Charles. They live in a park. They are strollers.

They taught me something about generosity. They have so little. But they still found a way to give, even of the little that they had.

We sat in the grass, along with the pigeons. They were sitting on some pieces of cardboard, the piece beneath Charles read, “THERE’S AN EARRING IN MY SOUP.” As Charles consumed his roll, he chased it with a swig of milk that ended up messily residing at the corners of his lips. Doreen was slow to eat her Yellow Corn Roll, as she lacked teeth to speed up the process.

She says they are strollers. She says they aren’t homeless, and they aren’t beggars; they just stroll around from place to place. Every Sunday they wash windows and clean gardens for 100 Rand.

100 Rand is less than 15 dollars.

About half way through her roll, I noticed her breaking off small pieces, tossing them to the seemingly ubiquitous birds. She feels that God wants her to give to the birds. The birds can’t speak up and say they’re hungry, so she feels that she must feed them. It’s the enjoyment in her day. And she did not just to break off small pieces from the small piece of bread we had given her, but she then pulled a couple more pieces of bread from her bag to give away. To the pigeons, and at one point a large female duck.

I would have liked to cry, but I did not want to feel weird.

So this is the picture of generosity I will keep in my mind; Doreen, with a weathered hand, reaching out, lending bread to a swarm of grey pigeons.