Day 8. The dusty streets of Nepal
The bittersweet aroma of exhaust, dusty roads, refuse, and just a tinge of incense press in around us as we bump along in Nepali traffic. By patting his leg our Rickshaw driver assures us that three people in a maybe-two-person space is no problem. We give each other a considering look, shrug, and climb aboard. With Patrick on my lap and Shepherd manning the camera we take in the story of the streets of Kathmandu. I wonder at some of the faces we pass by. The lady selling vegetables on the corner, she sits with a dozen more women jut like her, selling food to feed their children. A seller of trekking equipment stands outside his shop; most, if not all, of his wears are counterfeit, manufactured in China and sold to trekkers and tourists for cheap. Incense takes the aroma foreground, heralding a Hindu temple with its red dust and pagoda dragons. As we climb down from our buggy I notice a small dirty boy who sits above a white dog. He sees that he has caught my eye and quickly begins to plead for money for food. I know that it is illegal to give to street children or beggars in Nepal, at least I think I heard that. I have five Rupies in my pocket (about 7 cents) and think about discreetly giving it to him by dropping it on him as we pass by. But, I know that won’t really do him any good… that amount is even insulting in a way. If I give him more money he may make a scene and then I will have a dozen other beggars to turn away or give to till my money is spent. What should I do? What can I do? I decide to play it safe and by the law. I turn and ignore. “That dog with him looks pretty well fed”, I tell my self. “Maybe the boy as food enough if even the dog can eat.”
Can that be right? How do I love mercy, act justly and walk with God if I withhold from those who ask. “Give to the one who asks of you”, Jesus says. When does that NOT apply? These are the questions I am daily struggling with here. I know that the situation is complicated, but where and how do I draw lines? How do I love my neighbor if the cost is so high?
God, give me the ability to pay the cost with wisdom and love. Make me like Jesus in every way you will. Save me from myself. My eyes are on you Jesus.
Caleb Meeks/full of questions