Wednesday, October 26, 2011

break that calloused heart

I would like to think that I am smart enough to know when I am getting scammed. But alas, sometimes you just don’t know.

Case in point. I dropped the group off Sunday at the airport and as I came out, a man speaking English came up to ask me a question. When he figured out that I spoke Spanish, he changed over quickly. He said he had been living in Houston, and just got deported, and needed bus fare to get back to Trujillo, where he was from originally. I have heard that sometimes the government gives deportees bus fare when they arrive, but not all the time. Not knowing if that is true, or if it was something they did that particular day, I gave him some money...not the full amount for the ticket, not much money at all, but to help him along.  It seemed the right thing to do, but I wondered nonetheless.

I was back picking up Jana for her year here serving with us on Tuesday...which is great big huge awesome news...and waiting across from the airport to swoop in and pick her and Valerie up. This same man, not initially recognizing me, came up and started his same story...and as I smiled back at him, it dawned that he had already seen me, so he shifted into... “uh, well, the bus to Trujillo leaves so early in the morning, I decided to stay in a hotel, leave later” ....and so he continued. It was not a very good cover story, but he at least was quicker thinking on his feet than some people I have met.

The point being...your heart must get somewhat calloused to move through the day seeing constant need, or at least I feel like it is a necessary callous at some point. But...that callous needs to be broken at regular intervals. Sometimes that means you make a huge difference in a life that really needs it, sometimes you get taken advantage of, but that is just a hazard of some kind of loving.   Loving also means interacting with people at some level to figure out when you should open up and when you need to shut it down.  That is not easy, takes time, and in the long term energy and provides some level of stress. 

I don’t have it figured out much past that. When do you self preserve to be able to keep moving and when do you open your heart a little again? I for one though am hit and miss at figuring out those times, but bouncing off those around you, those that know you, would certainly be a place to well as prayer for guidance in those times. 

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