Open Your Heart 24 Hours a Day
The idea of opening a fast food or food stall 24 hours a day is something foreign to the older days of our fathers’ fathers.
I’m not quite sure how many people still treasure those times when people are down in the bed when the clock strikes 7 in the evening.
I believe there are still areas where people do that especially in areas that don’t have electricity.
But the way I remember it we do that in our town not because we have no electricity or because it’s creepy and bad elements are out in the evening.
I believe that people back then valued rest too much which is a good thing.
So back then all meals are ready by 5pm and mothers are sending their kids to the neighboring houses to share with them a piece of what they have for supper.
And that was the common tradition those days.
You don’t simply enjoy a meal without looking after your neighbor’s stomach.
The sad reality though is while tradition decays as modern living and busy lifestyle has consumed us individualism has become the norm.
We work for ourselves, earn for ourselves which may include our family and loved ones but never for a neighbor or a stranger.
We never even think about doing things for our country or for the sake of humanity.
We became lovers of ourselves.
So after this short introduction and a little bit of catching your attention with the hope of not trying to manipulate your reactions allow me to bring to you a serious need that we often times ignore intentionally.
But before we go there let me share a story.
Last week I stood in front of an eatery waiting for my boss.
Having figured out that it would take him too long before he could come I decided to sit inside the eatery.
So that left me with no choice but to order for a meal.
It was a good decision since I haven’t done my lunch that day.
So there I was eating and taking a glance at the lady eating at the next table.
Yes it was just a glance.
I was just wondering if she was beautiful.
But forget about the lady —she ain’t that beautiful.
I was focused on my eating when an old woman approached me showing me her palm opened.
She was a beggar I figured.
So I searched inside my bag hoping I could find any money.
I gave her 10 pesos.
It wasn’t a lot and I was just so guilty that it was all I could give.
She thanked me and turned toward the next table.
Again she opened her palm and spoke to the lady.
The lady just bowed her head and didn’t say a word.
She didn’t lift her head until the old woman was gone.
And it almost made me want to cry seeing that.
I wanted to speak to her and be angry at her.
How could she just do that.
I wonder if there was even compassion in her heart.
Why can’t she give even a little.
I wanted to know why.
I wanted to know if she thinks it’s wrong to give or whatever reason she might have.
If she didn’t have any money left then why couldn’t she tell the woman she doesn’t have anything to give.
It just broke my heart.
How can we just close our eyes and ignore someone in need.
How can we just refuse to give when we actually have something to give.
Sometimes we use the word responsibility as an excuse for not giving.
Yes you are to be responsible for yourself, your family, your close friends.
And yes others ought to be responsible for themselves as well.
Yes they are to work so they could eat.
Yes it’s not your fault if they’re hungry.
But is there not a place for compassion in your heart?
Is there not a God-given conscience that convicts you not to refuse someone asking for help?
Are we just to blame the government supposing it is their obligation?
I know we all want to give.
We are just willing to give as long as it doesn’t hurt us.
We don’t give because we are afraid of losing.
We would look inside the purse or wallet and count our money.
We don’t count how much we can give.
We count how much will be left if we give.
And most of the times when we count we don’t give.
It’s because we are so concerned of how much will be left.
And all the time we say nothing will be left if we give.
I struggle with this.
I struggle with giving.
I know most people struggle on this.
We are so scared to give because we worry about ourselves.
We close our eyes to the needy because all we want to look at is our own needs.
I hope at this point that our perspective about giving will be changed.
I hope to see people who keep on giving.
What a beautiful world this will be if we all just learn to give.
I’m going to leave you with this passage and hope this will speak to your heart.
It is my prayer that all hearts will open 24 hours a day.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,
And He will repay him for his [a]good deed.