I am still feeling guilty.
I have a feeling that the other decision would not have settled well either.
There was that third choice, but I didn’t think of it until it was too late.
The Place: Reasors 41st/Yale
The Time: 8:30ish pm
The Dilemma: someone needing money
So I finish loading my groceries into the back of Sasquatch(my dad’s name for my vehicle) and get into the driver’s seat. I notice a woman who exited a car (car then drove away) and then walked right towards my car with a panda bear in her arms. I am slightly worried so I lock my doors. She comes to my window, knocks and I roll it down a little. She, in a matter of fact- no shame manner asks “Can I have $20 to buy my baby some formula. If you do give it to me, I'll give you this stuffed animal”.
Now…here’s where I get stuck: Does she have a baby? Is she going to reach her hand into my window and try to get in if I don’t give her the money? Where is the baby? Why did she ask for $20, why not just ask for money for formula?
There were a few occasions when we purchased formula for Emmy, and I know that you CAN buy a container for less than a twenty. I thought it was a bit weird that she asked for a certain amount. That was the first thing that triggered my brain, to tell my heart, that it probably wasn’t going towards formula.
I was stuck for a second and didn’t know how to reply. I came up with this “Ma’am, you must believe me when I say this- if I could see your baby, if I in fact knew the money was going towards the baby, I would gladly give you the money”.
She replied “it’s too cold for him”.
I looked up at my trusty display in the car that read “40* F”. I told her that yes it was a little cool, but that I’ve had my baby out in this kind of weather many times. She didn’t have much to say. In my mind, I have automatically assumed she does not really need the money for a baby but for drugs. I shouldn’t have assumed that, but I did.
I left Reasor’s feeling sad, guilty, uneasy, worried, and unsure.
Did I do the right thing? Should I have doubted her? What if there really was a hungry baby? Did I just make the face of a Christian look bad because I didn’t give to the poor? I have just been fooled before, and didn’t want to be taken as a fool again.
On my way home scenario #3 entered my mind. I could have gone into the store with her and bought the formula myself. I thought of that too late. I guess that would have been the tell-tale sign as to whether she really needed the formula or not.
Then I started thinking about the person dropping her off. What if that was her boyfriend/husband? What if he sent her out to get money and was mad when she returned with nothing?
This happened 19 hours ago and it’s still bothering me.
What would you have done?