"  I  Remember  "                              by  Vanessa Barton           Nov. 3, 2008

It was a hot scorching day, unlike any other day in July, with beads of
sweat pouring from my forehead like water dripping from a newly
waxed car. I was outside waiting for my mama to announce it was
suppertime, when an old man walked up to me and asked if my parents
were home? I immediately got up from the steps to go get my mama
cause you know in those days we were well informed on not talking
to strangers.
Mama went to the door and asked if there was something she could do
for him? My mama, being one of those sisters who believed in God with
all her heart and soul , would do anything to help anyone. The stranger,
as he stood there in an oversized gray tee shirt that you could tell once
was white before it covered his body and tight black jeans that looked
as if they belonged to a man two sizes smaller than him, explained to my
mama that he was wondering if she could spare a few dollars for something
to eat. I stood besides my mama in the doorway and watched as she lowered
her head in shame because she didn't have any money ; as you know times
were hard since my father had the only income in our household. Then I
saw a smile come accross my mother's face as if a lightbulb had just been
switched on in her head.
She told the stranger that although she didn't have any money, she could
offer him some of the dinner she was preparing and something cold to drink.
She then told him to sit outside on the doorstep and she would bring his
food to him. I couldn't understand why she would offer this man food
knowing that she had five kids, her and daddy to feed with just one
chicken, a pot of rice, some pole beans and cornbread.
I have alway been the kind of person to ask if I wanted to know something.
So I asked my mama why would she give him our food knowing that we
barely had enough for ourselves. My mama looked at me as if in disbelief,
then she smiled and replied,"honey you never know what form God will
come back to earth in, suppose he come as a beggar and you turn him away? "
My mama then went on to fix him a plate and some fresh lemonade. It was
amazing the care she put into fixing that plate. She even took the time to
fold his napkin as if she was feeding a king. The man ate the food as if he
hadn't eaten in days and told my mama how his wife had left him and
took his kids with her and how much he missed them. I watched my
mama stand there with tears in her eyes as she listened to this
strangers life story.
After that he thanked her for her kindness, waved goodbye to me and
went on his way. That is a day I will never forget. I guess that is why,
when beggars come up to me in the street and ask for money for food,
I always have them stand outside until I come out of the store with them
something to eat. I never want to be that person who turns God away
when he comes to test me. DO YOU?