Yesterday, while we drove in to the drive-thru of a fast food chain in our city, a boy (a sampaguita garland vendor) approached me as I was placing an order.
Without further ado, he said, “Kuya, PHP20.00 lang. Bili ka na. Pambili lang namin ng bigas.”
Trans: Please buy this one for $0.50 so we can buy rice.
My world stopped for a minute. Instead of getting my order to the other window, I just saw myself talking (interviewing, actually) with the boy (asking him how his studies have been, his life, etc).
I have this strong compassion to people who are like that boy. I was in the same situation 15 years ago. After our conversation, I pulled a paper bill from my wallet, sorry, from my wife’s wallet (haha) and gave it to the boy. He was giving me one garland but I pushed back, “Itinda mo na lang para may dagdag kita ka.”
Trans: Instead of giving that to me, sell it so you’ll have an extra money.
You know what did I realize?
Since I’m moving from glory to glory in my life, especially in the relational and financial angles, my answer to this question becomes bigger and BIGGER, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Oh boy, I don’t know about you, but yes and YES, I am my brother’s keeper.
Who is my brother?
Answer: Anyone who feels like he’s at the rock-bottom of life.
Part of my plans for 2014 is to transform the lives of these young men and women in our barangay. In my mind, I have already imagined seeing these brothers and sisters not on the streets anymore, but on BIR’s office promptly paying for their business tax. Isn’t that awesome?
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