It was long time ago when my mother and I went to a legal office for a transaction. Since the transaction was finished, I moved a bit slowly and much delighted for God allowed me to accomplish it. However, I felt an abrasive sturdy impact that really stunned me. The pain couldn’t refute that somebody struck on my right arm. Upon turning back, I saw a man that seemed to be mad at somebody else. He looked rugged, with tattered clothes and curly messy hair (running down the aisle on zigzag position) while murmuring words, I couldn’t understand. He then, mistakably bashed on me I supposed. “And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: This is what the Lord Almighty said: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other” (Zechariah 7:8-10).
After knowing, who caused that painful impact on my right arm I was very much terrified that I dashed away without looking for someone. And then my mother called me up because I did run towards him instead. I became livid with fear that unknowingly, I moved towards his direction. In that scenario, I was a bit furious and inevitably horrified. They are commonly known as “taong grasa” or the vagrant street person. They roam around the streets with no place to stay especially during nighttime. Needless to say, that some of them are insane, neglected by their family and the society as well. They usually stayed on the corner asking for petite alms, ignoring the unbeatable soot from the vehicles pass by them. Behind those immense feelings of shock and fury for a while, I forgave him for what he did. I believe he knows not what he has done to me. Maybe he was just carried away by his intense emotion. “Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life” (Proverbs 22:22-23).
After that awful scene, I asked God to make that event, as an isolated case that I wouldn’t feel, some irrational fear to a person like him. I believe that their behavior also correspond to the environs they used to hang on. They are most often than not, neglected, unnoticed and marginalized member of the society. They somehow need attention from the world where they belong. “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:11-13).
We ought to understand them and consider ourselves more fortunate than they are. Compared to them we are more blessed because we could still buy some raiment, eat nutritious food and we have our shelters. We have friends and family who cares for us. However, they can’t even afford to buy a single meal for the day. They were often left- out by the society and being dreaded because of their physical outlook. “It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy” (Proverbs 14:21).
In Matthew 22:39, Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Despite of the sting on my right arm that in fact it turns red; I began to realize the lesson and the message that God wanted me to ponder on. We need to know that being abandoned by those we love and opt to live on streets is more than the pain I felt during that time. That circumstance will serve as a reminder and most of all, a blessing in disguise for me.
Let us however, extend a helping hand to the poor, ignored members of our society. Let us share the resources that the God has given us to those in dire need. In this way, God will be happy that you have responded his call for mercy and generosity. “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).