One situation I don’t like is being approached at a gas station by panhandlers.
“Dude, it’s night. I’m a woman alone. I could be armed with a taser.”
I feel afraid.
When I was by myself in Dallas years ago, I found that pretending I was a German traveler and didn’t understand English, it got rid of them every time.
A few weeks ago, confident in this approach (“it works EVERY TIME”), I told my husband that when they approached, I would hop out and say my usual
“Ich verstehe nicht” (I understand not).
This time, though, without missing a beat, the guy replied in German; “You speak German?”
Without thinking, I replied in German “Yes, a little bit.”
Then I realised, “Hey, wait a minute.”
He was telling the truth.
He WAS a vet. I had a cousin who used to be in the US Army in Germany.
The jig was up. I had been caught trying to be street smart.
Did fear create a Scrooge in me?
Scrooge didn’t start out cold-hearted.
Fear of being hurt (emotionally) created his miserly ways.
Perhaps always having some $ on me to give wouldn’t be the worst thing. I do like to buy food for those seemingly in need. I love to bring out my Southern Belle and ask “Are you hungry, honey? Can I get something for you?”
We all had quite a good laugh at my ruse and we helped the veteran out some.
I had become numb to need, assuming all panhandlers were liars, but I wasn’t telling the truth either.
I had created that deception to protect myself from possible physical harm, but did I need to be so afraid when my husband was with me?
It seemed odd that I would use THAT particular ruse at that particular time at this time of year.
I pray that God will put in me the ability to still watch out for my personal safety and the ability to help those in need outside of any formal giving organization.
Merry Christmas to you,my dear readers.
Image from A Christmas Carol. Disney.2009