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Subdeacon Joe

A Parable About Charity

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She asked him, 'How much are you selling the eggs for?' The old seller replied, 'R2 for an egg, Madam.'
She said to him, 'I will take 6 eggs for R10 or I will leave.' The old seller replied, 'Come take them at the price you want. May be, this is a good beginning because I have not been able to sell even a single egg today.'

She took the eggs and walked away feeling she has won. She got into her fancy car and went to a posh restaurant with her friend. There, she and her friend, ordered whatever they liked. They ate a little and left a lot of what they ordered. Then she went to pay the bill. The bill costed her R1400. She gave R1500 and asked the owner of the restaurant to keep the change.

This incident might have seemed quite normal to the owner, but very painful to the poor egg seller.

The point is,
Why do we always show we have the power when we buy from the needy ones? And why do we get generous to those who do not even need our generosity?

I once read somewhere:

'My father used to buy simple goods from poor people at high prices, even though he did not need them. Sometimes he even used to pay extra for them. I got concerned by this act and asked him why does he do so? Then my father replied, "It is a charity wrapped with dignity, my child”


About 7 or 8 years ago now, when we were really down and out, the choirmaster at our church wanted to help us out without seeming to be just giving us cash.  He knew I like firearms and he had a WWII vintage FN .380 that his father had carried as a courier in Europe.  He hadn't fired it in decades, didn't know anything about it.  He asked me to clean it and then go over the basics of how it worked.  I had him get a cleaning kit, CLP, etc.  Spent about an hour or so working on it.  Then another half hour going over the mechanics of it with him.  He asked me, "How much are you charging me for this?"  I said, "How about five bucks?"   "FIVE BUCKS!?!?!?  Here's $50."   I knew he was trying to make it not seem like the charity it was, and I thanked him for that as well as for the cash.  And for letting me work on his pistol.  
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It was pointed out to me years ago that people will pay the marked price for items in a store that has millions of dollars, but go to a small, our of the way family market and try to dicker the price down..... or pay an exorbitant price in a fancy American store and try to get something for next to nothing from street vendor in a foreign country.  I've watched GIs do it all over the world.

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Charity with dignity goes a long way for both parties involved. 

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