“Twenty five cents…a quarter.  Two quarters better if you have ’em” a voice called out.  

I turned and saw an older black man with a serious wandering eye coming towards me from a parking lot.

You want a quarter?” Frankly I thought the man was had made a mistake.  A quarter wouldn’t buy anything but a gum ball– and it wasn’t like there were tons of other people around to ask.  Was he stuck in the 70’s?

The man nodded and repeated himself.  Indeed he wanted a quarter.

Normally I didn’t carry cash to avoid the temptation of buying things I didn’t need. But it just so happens that on that day I had a dollar; four times the requested toll.

Wearing my long down coat, hood up for protection from the spitting damp wind, I proceeded at an aerodynamic angle– headlong like a goose back to my office after what was, with the exception of the light April shower and the encounter, a pleasant lunch time walk.

Returning to my cubicle I thought of the sterile transaction that had occurred down the street– how the man had awkwardly thanked me and in response I’d uttered a reflexive “God bless you” and scurried off.  Without stopping to really look the man in the eyes… without so much as a smile, I had given him my lousy dollar.

“I think I just short-changed Jesus” I whispered under my breath.

It is so easy to fall short.


2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV) Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.



#theleastofthese #fallingshort




10 thoughts on “Short-Changing

  1. The sense of not being enough, not giving enough, pervades society as we know it. I have to remind myself that’s what other people are for, that’s what the future is for, and small symbolic actions can grow into large movements. Patience with self and others is key. (At least I hope so. That’s how I’m playing it.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We certainly can’t do it all that’s for sure. I walk a lot in a city that has few walkers except those without any means of transportation. I can get a ride to work (I’m not a great driver), but walking puts me at the same level as many who are not as fortunate. While I greet everyone in passing, I need to be more prepared in these situations to have a better reaction! It’s not the money or anything (and I really don’t carry it most of the time), but it’s my demeanor and reaction that needs to improve. Gosh I wish I had asked the man if he liked to dance. I like to dance. We could have done a jig or something.


  3. Yes, it is so easy for me to give a dollar (or a sandwich which I did yesterday) all without looking the lady in the eye and showing that i truly cared. Which, now that you’ve written this I realized I truly didn’t. Because if I had I would have easily taken the time to show it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Next time I am planning to ask the requester if they dance or sing. If they do, I will see if we can do something together for just a minute or two and then I’ll pay them handsomely for their time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the idea of asking that man if he liked to dance. It would be fun to dance a jig with someone on the sidewalk. Lol Well, just take this experience as a learning lesson, that’s what I do. Next time you meet someone like him, you will know what to do.

    Liked by 1 person

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