A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith


Trucks and hard-working young men

posted by Linda G. Howard

It was late Friday afternoon.  Three battered trucks with all sorts of construction equipment flapping from the truck beds buzzed in beside me.  I entered the convenience store ahead of them.  As I stood at the ATM, I was rattled by all the truck-driving, young men who  stood in back of me waiting their turn.  The four reeked of sweat and their clothes dripped from the dirt and concrete which shouted a day of “hard work” to everyone in the 7-11.

I assumed that, like me, they were getting off of work and needing cash from their bank account.  Thoughts flew through my mind.  I don’t want them to get my pin number.  No telling what they could do with it.  I quickly punched my pin code guarding the key pad with my body.  Carefully avoiding eye-contact with the potential pin-number thieves, I hurriedly, took my cash and receipt and rushed to the restroom.  

When I exited the restroom, three of the young men that I’d tried to skit away from, stood waiting for me.  “Lady,” the leader said, gruffly, “you left your card in the ATM.” He handed me my bank card, saying, “You really need to be careful.  There are people out there who would steal everything you have with this card.”  The three companions smiled and turned away.

I was ashamed of my prejudicial assumptions.  Yesterday, I was faced with a similar incident.  Three Special Gathering  members were getting a cup of coffee after working for a ministry for more than an hour.  This is free coffee to all ministry members. Special Gathering meets in their building but we always provide our own refreshments; and we don’t take from them.  Because these four members work for the ministry each week, they are allowed to get a cup of coffee.

Special Gathering is a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  We exist from the good-will of others.  However, at times, we are able to help other ministries.  This was one of those times.

Two ministry members came into the building as The Special Gathering members were getting their coffee.  The ministry members looked at us as though we were stealing their coffee.  I tried to explain to them why were getting four cups of coffee.  Finally, one of the ministry members said, “I donate $1 each week for the coffee I take.”  He took the donation jar and sat it beside me.

Irritated, I gathered my members and left the room.  Later that day, as I thought about the encounter, I realized that I could be making as many false assumptions as I was attributing to the ministry members who had stared at us.

Trucks and dirty clothes don’t make thieves.  People who are mentally challenged are usually good and decent folks who merely want to help and be accepted.  In addition, harsh stares may not mean a lack of hospitality.

Wylene, my good friend often told me, “Linda, it never hurts to give people the benefit of the doubt.”  Too often I forget her sage advice.  Romans 12:19 also says, “My friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to punish them with his anger. It is written, ‘I will punish those who do wrong; I will repay them,’ says the Lord.”

Scott Williams

More good advice comes from blogger and Campus Pastor of the Northwest Oklahoma City Campus of Life Church, Scott Williams.  He penned, “Give people the benefit of the doubt, unless they absolutely compel you to do otherwise.”



Previous Posts

Overcoming Fatigue
After four days of Camp Agape, my children laugh that I'm in my Camp Coma for about a week.  While it's humorous there is a lot of truth in their designation of my abilities.  There are some things that I've learned from others and from my own experiences regarding physical fatigue. First, this

posted 6:37:05am May. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Explaining grace
In the past weeks, I've been going over some of the key words in our covenant relationship with God.  Perhaps one of the most important words we use is grace. Most of us have learned and maybe we even remember God's Riches At Christ's Expense This is great explanation of grace and

posted 9:48:06pm May. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Familiar customs and limited means
When the Biblical young woman, Ruth, married into a Jewish family she understood little about their ways, God or religion.  This is my supposition; but I base the conjecture on facts.  Moabites were shunned by the Israelis.  Decades before, Moab wronged the wandering tribes who desired to trav

posted 7:47:06am May. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Pressure Time
Is there a time that you can remember that you were pressured beyond your ability to cope? There have been many for me. As a child, my mother told me again and again that I was constantly burning the candle at both ends. For years, I had no idea what she meant. When I finally understood her, I wa

posted 7:38:54am May. 16, 2014 | read full post »

When we leak
Recently, I've heard a great deal about the things the Holy Spirit was doing in the 1960's and 1970's.  It is interesting to me because those were days through which we lived.  There were times that it seemed that the Lord was tangible enough to reach out and touch.  Even though I was very young-

posted 10:09:00pm Feb. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.