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Monday, May 21, 2018

The Art of Sharing

I have so much to learn. 
A beautiful African woman sat at a table near us. She ordered a pizza and a huge plate of chips (french fries) for her and her family to enjoy. A short time later, the store manager approached her table and asked, “how is your food?". Her face lit up with a huge pearly white smile. 'Goodness, she is gorgeous’, I thought to myself. She raved over the food and then said something astonishing, “Would you like a piece?” He smiled and humbly declined.
Later in the afternoon, Ruby and I made our way to the playground near our home. A family (who we didn’t know) was at the park celebrating their daughter’s birthday. The adults were dressed in suits and fancy dresses. The children were wearing their Sunday best. (African’s dress better than anyone I know, myself included.) As we approached the swing set, the African family caught a glimpse of us. “Would you like to join us? We are celebrating our daughter’s birthday. Would you like some cake and soda?” I thought, “What!?!” Again, I was astonished. We were strangers and they were inviting us to sit at their table. They cut the slices of cake smaller than they needed to, just to share with us. I sat there in awe as they carved up bite sized chunks of cake just so they could share it with passing strangers. If I were in Indiana at the park celebrating Ruby’s birthday and strangers walked by, the thought wouldn’t even cross my mind to offer them a slice of cake and a can of soda. If I were having a backyard barbecue I wouldn’t think to offer a passerby a hot dog.
The cake and soda didn’t just give me a sugar rush. It deposited value. It said, “you are worth me having less so that you can participate in my life.”
Later that night, Ruby and Ezra were praying with Nathan before bed. They thanked God for the “cake and pepsi in the park”. We realized that this kind of community love...the sharing, involving, including kind of culture…it’s normal to them. It’s not a crazy, standout action…it’s just a piece of pizza or cake in the park…it’s “normal".
I have so much to learn.

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