Stephen slipped up at work a few weeks back and started a story with, “Yesterday our kids…”
This is Yuh Meh Oo. And this week, she’s been around our house more than usual.
She has been watching us from the door shouting, “Kelli! Teacher! Kelli!” until one of us pokes our head out to wave. And then within a minute or two she’s shouting again.
She stood at the kitchen door and watched me cook for so long yesterday. She watched me, and then began to ask for food. She moves her hand to her mouth and smiles, so sweetly.
I had given her orange a few weeks ago while she watched me cook, just to be nice. I started to think this was backfiring, and she was just going to ask for food every time she watched me cook.
All the theories of political science and international development began rolling through my mind, along with “if you give a mouse a cookie…”
I shook my head no and turned back to stir together the marinade for the Greek chicken we’d be having for dinner.
And then Matthew 25 began to roll through my mind. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink…Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
And this was so much louder than the theories.
What if she was actually hungry? What if, out of sheer theory of things potentially going wrong in the long run of development, I turn away one beautiful, hungry little girl? How could I welcome her into my yard to play with dolls, but refuse her food? How can I stir together a marinade while she’ll be grateful for a dinner of rice and fish paste?
I turned to give her a banana. And I’ve been pondering it ever since.