Bread for the hungry…

August 7, 2008

The other night, I accompanied my wife to a breadshop owned by a good friend. It was 9:10 PM and the store was closing at 10, according to our friend.

I took a seat at a nearby table/chair settings next to the counter and my wife did her business with the sole staff running the operations for that shift. In the middle of their transaction, a young man with his friend who was holding their instant noodle soup bought from 7-11, tapped on the glass and asked if he could buy 2 pieces of bread. I was just observing the whole thing from about 3ft away.

“Sarado na?” (the store is closed already?)- the young man asked.

He went to his friend and said what the store keeper said.

My wife pointed to the bread and said “you have 2 pieces left, why don’t you sell those to them?”.

“Magugulo lang ang records ko eh. Tapos na ang pag record ko pati yung pera bilang ko na…” (it will just mess up our records. I am done finishing my records and have already counted the money) – the storekeeper complained in her high pitched voice.

By this time, I was already standing behind my wife and I also added “dagdagan mo na lang ng +2 dun sa record mo – madali lang naman isulat yun…” (just add +2 to your records. It is really easy to just write and add those)

“Eh tapos na talaga records ko eh… di na talaga pwede…”( my records are really done now… I really cannot sell anymore…”

I looked at my watch. It was only 9:15PM.

This was a case of a storekeeper not doing her job and closing shop/records 45 minutes ahead of closing time.

This to me, was a case of a storekeeper who was so mindful of her financial recordings and having clearly forgotten that she was in the business of selling bread first, and recording those sales second.

Your hunger is not as important because I am too lazy to write additional 2 pieces of bread bought within 45 minutes of the closing time.

“wala pa kaming tanghalian eh.. kanina pa kami nagtatrabaho at nagbubuhat…”(we have not eaten lunch because we had been working and carrying stuff) one of the single men chimed in…. and went back to stir his noodles.

I felt my anger rising.

Not just because of the way the storekeeper was cheating on our friend, and for deliberately hindering my friend from having higher sales for the day, BUT IT WAS MORE BECAUSE OF THE DELIBERATE, INCONSIDERATE RESPONSE TO TWO HUNGRY MEN who just wanted 2 pieces of bread to go with their instant noodles for their dinner and lunch combined.

Injustice gets on my nerve everytime.

Sometimes when we think of the injustices done all over the world, in DARFUR, CHINA , MIDDLE EAST toward its migrant workers etc, we think of people with huge vested powers depriving people of their decent wages, housing and food.

But the forms and varying degrees of injustices are all over the world. It could even be as “simple” as being denied a bread for dinner – even when the person asking was BUYING within store hours and had the money to buy them – THAT WAS INJUSTICE.

I read somewhere that the measurement of our power is through the gentleness by which we exercise them.

It doesn’t matter what position you carry or functions that you do, it is in your gentleness in the dispensation of your function/position that your sense of power is measured.

This morning after saying our breakfast prayer, I was again reminded of so many people who may have so much less for food today. I suddenly remembered the incident and felt again the sense of injustice rising from within.

I immediately texted the owner and explained to her what I have seen and witnessed.

Injustice gets me angry all of the time.

Injustice gets me frustrated all of the time because many times I feel powerless to do anything about them.

Eventually, It drives me to my knees to pray.

That I will be vigilant in making sure that I exercise compassion and God’s tender mercies at all possible times.

That I will always remember that people are more important than my records and accurate plans.

That I make myself available to the Lord so He can feed the hungry both physically and spiritually.

Lord God, let the full manifestation of your KINGDOM be upon us now.

PS. Just got sms response from the owner: ” I talked to her already. She took it negatively.”

I rest my case.


One Response to “Bread for the hungry…”

  1. eugeniosadrao Says:

    Rex helllllooooooooooooooooo,

    Ang tinderang walang pakialam sa mga nagugutom. Pakisabi sa may-ari madami ang nangangailangan ng trabaho. Kung matapos niyang paliwanagan ay ikaw pa ang lumabas na sinungaling harinawa ay di naman maapektuhan in the long term ang kaniyang bread business. Dami naghahanap ng trabaho mapalitan lang ang walang utang na loob na tindera ako maghahanap ng kaniyang replacement.



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