Begging Again

“Give us Alms! Oh Amma! We are hungry; please give us something to eat. The piteous voice of a female leper, as she begged for food for her blind leper husband and herself, was a familiar sound to the people of this locality. Souvena heard the voice and said, “Mother, please give me something for that couple.” Mother said in an irritated voice, “They seem to know that they would always get something or the other from our house, so they have started coming here too often. Just last week I gave them your father’s old shirt and a large pack of stale biscuits. I don’t have anything to spare today. You stay indoors; someone else shall surely give them something.”

The teenaged Souvena looked displeased at mother’s attitude but she knew that it was futile to argue. A few minutes later she found that mother had gone into the washroom. She took out five rupees from her pocket money and dashed out. She gave it to the beggar and said, “Amma, take this and go quickly, don’t hang around here.” Souvena was back in a jiffy.

Later that day, father was talking to mother that he had requested his boss to give him a raise, but the boss had said that it wasn’t going to be possible yet. Mother said, “Only God can help. If you pray to God, he shall surely get you a raise. He may do it in an unconventional way, but do it, he will!” So Dad prayed and Mom prayed and Souvena prayed too. Within a week, father was promoted to a higher post and his salary was increased considerably.

Now mother eyed the car of her neighbour. She said, “The Jains have a new car, I wish your boss would sanction one for you to. Father grinned and said, “Ask your God. Perhaps He can help you.” So once more, Mother prayed fervently. Strangely, God seemed to be in an obliging mood and soon they had a new car. The next demand in line was a diamond ring and the next was an admission in a medical college for Souvena.

Meanwhile, one day the leper couple came begging again. Mother was getting ready to go for a card game with her new found so-called elite friends. She said, “God Lord, here they come again. Maya, look into the bread box and give them the left over bread if there is any.” The maid Maya, went to get the bread. Just then a small voice in Mother’s heart said, “You too seem to be asking for something or the other all the time. I don’t turn you away empty handed. I don’t rebuke you for nagging me all the time. Why do you get angry when that couple knocks at your door?”

Come to think if it, who are we to judge another? If only we would step into the shoes of the other person for a moment, the world would look entirely different. God alone knows what He wants to give and to whom. It is not our prerogative to judge anyone. If He is giving you the good fortune of being His instrument in giving something to one in need, feel yourself blessed, for God has chosen you to do something for Him; not only that, you become the recipient of so many blessings just by acting as a link between the giver and receiver.

If you can give… do so by all means. If you cannot, at least don’t abuse the other person, for you do not know how difficult it is to lower one’s self esteem.”