Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poorProverbs 21:13
Will also cry himself and not be heard.
There I was trying as quickly as possible and as covertly as possible trying to eat my fried eggs. It did not matter that a big chunk had fallen on the ground and quite without shame I quickly scooped it up and ate- do not judge it was too big a piece to leave there. So I had finished the eggs and was about to destroy a piece of bulla ( rich Jamaican cake made with molasses and spiced with ginger and nutmeg, sometimes dark-colored and other times light-colored ), when a man approached with a dog jumping around his feet. I was so taken by the playful nature of the dog, that I asked him if it belonged to him and he confirmed this. He looked a bit hesitant and asked if the dog being there was bothering me to which I said no. He sat and I returned to my job of the bulla destruction. Suddenly he asked me if I was a christian, and I said yes – I figured it must be the hairstyle. He then asked me a question no one had ever asked me – well not a completely stranger – he asked, “can you pray for me?”
First, that killed my appetite, which was a bit shocking – I love bulla! Because I had not expected it I hesitated, but I was also intrigued by his request. What could have caused a healthy look young man to make such a request of a stranger. I asked him what was the problem; I saw that he was at first hesitant to do so, but as we could not proceed without me knowing the why – yes I am very stubborn – he did so. He told me that he was behind on his rent by three months and the landlady was about to throw him out. He told me of a friend – not a friend – who would help him for a price that was too high and of his son who he needed to get some groceries for because he really did not have the money to buy food. Well I thought, “I will have to do my best”, I have to pray for him. As I prayed, the words came and as the words came I heard this big strong man crying. No silent tears running down his cheeks but when I finished praying and opened my eyes, it was a proper ugly cry. And at that moment I was reminded that there are persons we walk with everyday and whom we talk to, who smile with us, and are suffering.
His burden was too heavy to continue to carry and so he sought someone, even for a moment to help him to carry it by interceding to God on his behalf. After I had eaten that fallen piece of egg, I did wonder about germs. However, after my encounter with that man I realize that for some people germs are the least of their concerns. For some the line between them and complete despair has become so blurred that all they can do is cry out.