Little Street Vendor - Wilfried Decoo
I do not mean to call the teacher a Pharisee. I am much less bothered by the “buying something on Sunday” aspect as I was by this thought:
“We shouldn’t chase that vendor away, but if you don’t buy from her, SHE WON’T COME BACK.”
Those last four words are what broke my heart.
Not buying from her is one thing; not putting our arms around her and not talking with her and not thinking that perhaps God inspired a choice daughter to take up a post at our church and not inviting her into our fellowship but, instead, truly chasing her away - that breaks my heart. I want her there - where she is relatively safe, where she at least can hear that she is a child of God, where she can rest with faith that families with children of their own (relatively well-dressed, clean, happy children) will understand her plight the best they can and have pity on her, etc. Taking that away from her - that breaks my heart. She’s not an object lesson for Sabbath Day observance; she’s a daughter of God and my spiritual sister - and using her as the first instead of treating her as the second broke my heart.
I understand the overwhelming nature of poverty in Africa and the hesitancy to do anything that might encourage hundreds of poor vendors to flock to the Church, but I have a feeling that the astute businesswoman in that little girl would have recognized the benefit of keeping her spot hidden from competition. I wonder if anyone sat down with her and just talked with her about her life, about the Gospel, about the Restoration, about her divine nature as a daughter of God. Whether or not anyone gave her money or bought something from her, did anyone take the time just to love her and listen to her. Wonder of wonders, she can read! I wonder if anyone even thought to give her a Book of Mormon or something else to engage her mind.
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these . . .” couldn’t find a more perfect application than this little street vendor - and would we really want to ignore Him, so He won't come back? .