Mixed-Up Economics

This morning I decided to go get a cup of coffee (something I don’t do very often) at “& Cafe”.  Since I was on my way home from dropping the girls at pre-school, I decided to park the car close by.  As I got out of my car, a woman offered to wash the car for me.  I agreed.  As I sat sipping my coffee, I recognized this lady from Bin Laden’s funeral.  So I finished my java and went outside to chat.  Her name is Guadelupe and yes, she was a friend of Bin Laden.  As I watched Guadelupe wash my car (she is a stellar car washer by the way), I began to feel uncomfortable.  She commented that it’s been awhile since she’s seen me in the park with my car….I responded that usually I walk to the park.  Then she asked me if I had a nice breakfast….gulp, “yes, thank you”.  I proceeded to tell her that I rarely buy coffee, I normally make it at home….that was a comment to make me feel better.  To be honest, it didn’t make me feel better.

Here I am, a part of InnerChange working with street youth.  We “walk” with the poor.  Today I feel a great distance between myself and Guadelupe.  I paid Q.42 for a coffee & sandwich; then I paid Guadelupe Q.20 for a car wash and drove off, leaving her on the sidewalk with a bucket & rags awaiting the next customer.  She does not have the option to buy a coffee at “& Cafe” or own a car.  My attempts to “walk with the poor” are humble at best.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” (Mt. 5:3)….Guadelupe is blessed.  There is much for me to learn from her.


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