The hand coming through the bamboo wall startled us and drew our attention from our dinner conversation. “No,” we responded to his begging, “go away.” He left us to our meal and conversation, moving on to the next table. A little later another hand appeared with the young face looking in at us. This time Robin and Jeff responded with recognition and Jeff jumped up and went to the street to try to talk with the youth. He was a beggar – no, worse – a young deaf beggar. He has consistently refused any assistance from the Signs of Love staff, who have repeatedly reached out to him. Yet, one more time Jeff is going out of his way, interrupting our dinner, our conversation, our time, to try and reach this young one.
As dinner neared an end, my wife, Susan, looked at the large amount of food still left on her plate and asked if we could give these leftovers to the boy. Robin assured us it was fine, so we had a good serving of baked chicken with rice, beans and tortillas wrapped up to go. Taking this little package, I went out and finding the young boy, I offered it to him. Quickly, and I think gratefully, he took it, turned and ran away.
One small act, one more attempt to reach him, to soften his heart. Maybe next time they try, maybe then he will respond with more openness to the help available through Signs of Love. Reflecting on the whole encounter, I am impressed with the continued efforts to reach this one more hurting and needy one, unaware of the gifts and possibilities for life that are available to him. I am moved to pray that one day soon we will hear a story of how this one is learning, changing, growing.
All things are possible.
It takes love – love that truly can be heard by all.