“Taking the first step, being involved and supportive, bearing fruit and rejoicing”

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Yesterday on my way home I passed through a part of London where there are a lot of wealthy commuters. I saw a man begging beside the station and when he asked for money I refused, feeling that there were probably many others in the area who could give. 

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But I did stop to have a little chat, and in the course of the conversation he asked if I would buy him food. This time I felt that I couldn’t refuse, knowing that my own meals for the day were provided for me by others and with no effort on my part!

I asked what he would like and he sent me off to the shop with a request. I looked around for ages, not able to see what he had asked for except in a form that would require cooking… I began to wonder did he have somewhere where he could get food heated? Had I misheard his request? Should I just buy something simple? or should I just go home…? I persevered and eventualy found a lovely hot meal in the deli section. Now I had another dilemma – it cost more than I would normally pay for food for myself… but it was good food, healthy and hot. I thought again about the man sitting in the rain outside. Of course I knew I should buy it so I wonder why there were so many questions within me, so many hesitations or fears about getting involved or being coerced or feeling guilty.

I bought the food, and went back to the man. He had obviously given me up and was so clearly surprised and grateful when I returned that I realised how often people must let him down in simple ways, just because they, like me, felt unsure.

I have been rereading Evangelii Gaudium recently and there are some real treasures – here is one of them.

” Let us try a little harder to take the first step and to become involved. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. The Lord gets involved and he involves his own, as he kneels to wash their feet. He tells his disciples: “You will be blessed if you do this” (Jn13:17). An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives; it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if necessary, and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others. Evangelizers thus take on the “smell of the sheep” and the sheep are willing to hear their voice. An evangelizing community is also supportive, standing by people at every step of the way, no matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove to be. It is familiar with patient expectation and apostolic endurance. Evangelization consists mostly of patience and disregard for constraints of time. Faithful to the Lord’s gift, it also bears fruit.”

Evangelii Gaudium (Ch1)

5 Responses to ““Taking the first step, being involved and supportive, bearing fruit and rejoicing””

  1. Denise Says:

    Lynne thank you for taking the first step and letting us share in your experience. Indeed may your risk of involvement in this man’ life inspire others to embrace human life, with all it’s various needs, that we encounter in others each day, as for sure “good example does much good”!

  2. Geralyn (FCJ Mission & Identity Promoter) Says:

    Thank you, Lynne. And thank you for sharing it with us. Bless you.

  3. Geralyn (FCJ Mission & Identity Promoter) Says:

    Reblogged this on Keeping Company.

  4. MariJoxe Says:

    I liked reading how you caught you were unsure and a bit uneasy, and yet, you kept your inner conviction and clarity that you were going to buy him the food he thought to be best for him right then (being respectful towards him)… even more, I liked reading how you were able to name your inner emotional reactions later on, as much as sensing the patience this experience emanates and the lively and real conversation it evokes: you with God, while searching for food and experiencing all this feelings. Loved it.

  5. fcjteam Says:

    Reblogged this on FCJ – T.E.A.M. and commented:
    Taking the first step…indeed “Good Example Does Much Good”

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