I was in the bus waiting for the driver to move when a teenage Niger female refugee approached me. She had a baby with her and made sure he was well fed. I don’t know if its her baby but she doesn’t look like a mother.
Unlike those little children who would drag you and even curse you when you don’t give them money, she came with a good approach (she has grown anyway). Well, already I have developed dislike for them that whenever I see them coming I find the nearest escape route because the undisciplined ones have created an impression that they are just very disrespectful.
I was in the front seat when I saw her coming and I threw my face away. When she came, she touched me so as to get my attention. Other passengers were looking at me to know my reaction and I was the type who don’t like such attention. When I turned to look at her, she was only requesting for 10 naira to buy pure water. I didn’t have 10 naira anyway, but I had some notes and 50 naira and it was in a stuffed bag I carried. I thought about going through the stress of searching for the money and I decided to just ignore her. She stood there for a minute and left. “She’s not disabled after all…” I falsely encouraged myself trying to do away with what was already happening inside of me.
When she had gone far, other things came to my mind. As a teenage girl, she is likely to fall into the hands of idiots who will want to sleep with her with promises of money. She looked very neat, matured and fair and looked vulnerable. In desperation, she may do things she ought not to do just to feed… My 10 naira won’t solve that situation and my #1000 won’t even save her from such situations but I felt so guilty of not at least doing the little I can.
I quickly searched my bag, brought out some notes and hoped she might come by… My spirit was restless. I saw her far away from Unizik junction drinking pure water… Maybe a kind hearted person had sponsored that. I wanted to come down the bus and approach her but the driver had kicked the engine to a start. Mist formed in my eyes and we moved from Awka to Onitsha… All the way I was restless. My Spirit man was not happy because I had allowed my flesh dictate what it should do at that moment.
This morning I woke up and it came to my mind again leaving me with “I am sorry” face. I learnt something big…
You don’t need a confirmation from God before helping people. Don’t ignore people simply because they are not disabled. No matter how healthy a person is, if he or she begs for alms, don’t start asking questions, don’t even bother asking God for permission to help (only stingy people do that). God will not be happy if you approach him with a question “God… Should I help that person?” There is always a reason why beggars come your way… Beggars are a blessing to you. When you recognise that, you will not hesitate to sow into their lives. Every beggar is a fertile ground… If you have enough resources to bring some of them out of that situation, its worth it.
I have promised myself… I will never ignore any beggar again. Not at all!