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Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Man at the Fair

Today was the beginning of our county fair. I'm one of the chairmen for the craft department and spent the afternoon, evening, and some of the night working on getting the items entered and organized. In the morning I'll go around with the judges as they judge, placing the ribbons on the winning exhibits. It's a fun time for all who are involved.

For the past two years, there have been a few food items stolen. Last year a few of us actually saw it happen. Today, as soon as I arrived at the fairground, I saw this same man. He's in his 60's or 70's I would guess and he had his wife with him. Because I was carrying in my four children's entries, some of which were food, I was a little concerned to sit it down and go to get other entries from the car. Since the items weren't yet entered, they could easily be picked up. But, I decided to be trusting and not worry about it and go on and do what needed to be done.

When I came back into the building, I heard someone say to the man, "This year you need to try something new. You need to pay for your items." I was a little shocked, but the person who said it didn't do it in a mean way, in fact he's a very kind and helpful man who was also helping enter items. The "theif" man said, "Well, I don't know how - and kind of laughed." A lady sitting nearby said to him, "It's time you learn!". That was the end of the conversation.

I thought about that conversation throughout the day. I don't know anything about the man who has stolen food the past few years. But, if he's truly hungry I am very sorry about that. I've never been hungry. Oh, I think I have - just like today, without eating lunch or anything since breakfast - by 8:00 tonight I was hungry, but not really...not hunger like some know hunger. I'm very thankful that I have never experienced true hunger.

He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Ephesians 4:28

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." 2 Thessalonians 3:10

So, maybe this man is truly hungry...truly needy. In that case, I should help him. However, there's a possibility that this man just steals because, like he said, "I don't know how (to pay)." Did he mean he steals because that's what he grew up doing and didn't pay for things - like at a store? I don't know. Only he knows and God knows. God's the judge, not me.

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Wow. Interesting...I like the way they handled it, tho.

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