It was an ordinary Tuesday. I had left for an early morning dentist appointment and on the way home, made a quick stop at the bank.
Recently remodeled, the bank now affords no privacy to its customers at the tellers’ counters. I waited my turn in line, the only one waiting.
Her back was to me. She appeared neatly but casually dressed and in her forty’s. I should have realized she was trying to angle for privacy but I could hear every word of the conversation already in progress.
“What will be the balance in each account?”, she asked.
The teller replied, “Fifty four in one. Seventeen in the other.”
“OK, please make the withdrawal. I need to pay the three bills,” she responded.
Not really paying close attention to it all, my mind began to take it in. “They really should keep balances as such more confidential,” I thought, “No one should know she has $5,400 and $1,700 in accounts.”
My mind continued, “Or maybe even $54,000 and $17,000.”
I was called over to another teller who became available and began to process my deposit. But to be honest, I was now fully engrossed in this woman’s transaction.
Her transaction now completed, her teller began to count out her money to her – two ten’s and ten singles.
She thanked the teller and said, “I think I will get me a cup of coffee now,” and left.
I felt suspended in time, stuck in the moment as the truth revealed before me began to register. My teller slid my receipt across to me and I returned to my car, parked at the curb on the street. I sat to think about what I had just witnessed. Or perhaps to give God the time to teach me a lesson ….
Her accounts held balances of $54 and $17. Small amounts from which she needed $30, leaving even less for the future.
I knew instantly I would never miss an opportunity again. I should have given her the money discreetly through the hands of her teller.
Living in a small suburban town, it was not something I had thought I would witness unfold before me. And yet it had. The experience has nagged at me for over a week. A new desire and prayer has been birthed in me …
I want to have eyes to SEE.
“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.” (Luke 10: 33, NLT)
May I see.
May I see and be moved to action.
And as I see, may I feel compassion.