Sunday, June 8, 2008

Thank God for her

Sunday Star, StarMag, Sunday 8 June 2008 Heart & Soul
By Maria Dass
Sometimes a simple act of charity is all that is needed to show love and humility.

I have a wonderful story to share about my mother-in-law. Yes, we actually have a great relationship. It was the day after my fifth brother-in-law's wedding. Being the youngest of three siblings and not exposed to wedding preparations and the after-party, I mostly helped out with the cleaning and food preparation.

It was a Sunday and the wedding had been the night before. All of my husband's siblings and their families had just had breakfast and were lazing around. In the kitchen, my eldest sister-in-law was busy counting the money collected from “ang-pows” collected during the wedding dinner.

The front gate was left ajar to welcome any relatives or friends who might drop by for a chat. Suddenly I saw a haggard man in his 30s walk into the porch looking every bit a beggar. I was overcome with fear and thought that he might want to kidnap or even hurt someone in the family just for money. My mind raced with all sorts of thoughts.

I told my husband who was chatting with his brothers about the man outside. My husband promptly got up and walked outside to tell the man to leave as there was nothing to give. I know his intention was to safeguard everyone at home and not to belittle the haggard stranger. The man walked away slowly with a sad frown on his face.

My mother-in-law who was busy preparing breakfast in the kitchen came out to the living room and walked towards the man. After talking to him for a while, she came into the house and looked for some money to give to the stranger as he wanted the money for food. After doing that, she asked him to wait and went back into the kitchen to prepare a hot drink.

I could see right away a glint of happiness on the stranger’s face as he waited patiently for his drink. After he finished, he walked away happier that when my husband asked him to leave. I could feel that he felt appreciated.

My mother-in-law came back into the house and said that she felt pity for the man and it was okay to give some money away when we had so much. Right then, I recollected a pastor saying that “God reveals himself in many ways”. Maybe it was Him in disguise, needing to see if there was charity and love in our home.

Well, all I can say is that with my mother-in-law, there will always be charity and love in abundance. I felt ashamed that I did not do anything more for the stranger. I learnt a lesson on giving and aim to do more for the less fortunate in my own way.

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