Chinese Beggar


I just felt like sharing this story. I am travelling for work in China (near Shanghai). Normally when we are in a city area, there are a few beggars asking for money. If I have some coins I usually give them one (typically 1 RMB = ~$0.125). Tonight, we were descended on by what appeared to be two families (moms and children). I guaged the need and more or less matter-of-factly gave one family a coin (the mom), then the other one also (to a child). A child (I think a little girl) from the first family pushed her bowl towards me. I ignored her and walked a different way, thinking, “well, I already gave this family some money”. The little girl did something very unexpected- she started crying. This was not a “we are not going to have enough to eat cry”, this was not a “we need more clothes cry”, this was a " I am a 3-4 year old little girl, and I am disappointed and hurt cry". I felt terrible. I thought of my two daughters and how, even having much more than they need they react this way sometimes. Even though I “know” these were human beings created in the image of God, I know they are real people, I saw them as beggars. I see them in many places and it saddens me, and I do small things to help them (give them change, donate to charities, etc.), but this time I really saw them as me, as my family, not as “them”.

I gave the little girl another coin (the last in my pocket).

Mark Wyatt


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