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Just One Banana

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John Jackson tells of an event that happened one day outside a food distribution center in Orlando, Florida where he was volunteering to help the poor.

“The line was long that day, but moving quickly. And in that line, at the very end of the line, stood a young girl who appeared to be about 12 years old. She waited patiently as those at the front of that very long line received a little rice, some canned goods, maybe a couple of pieces of fruit. A God Provide

“Slowly but surely, she was getting closer to the front of the line, closer to the food. From time to time she would glance across the street. She didn’t notice the growing concern on the faces of the people who were distributing the food. There wasn’t going to be enough. The food was rapidly running out. Their anxiety began to show, but still the girl didn’t notice. Her attention seemed always to focus on three figures huddled together under a tree across the street.

“At last she stepped forward to get her food. But the only thing left was one lonely banana. The workers were almost ashamed to tell her that was all that was left. But she didn’t seem to mind. In fact she seemed genuinely happy to get that solitary banana.

“Quietly she took the precious gift and ran across the street where three small children waited. Maybe they were her siblings, maybe not. Very deliberately the girl peeled the banana. Then she carefully divided the banana into three equal parts and placed the precious food in the eager hands of those three young ones.

“’One for you, and one for you, and one for you!’ Then, for her own meal, she licked the inside of that banana peel.” Jackson concludes the story, “And I will always believe that I saw the face of Jesus that day.” A God Alert

In a world where “religious” people, claiming to speak for God, often appear to know so much, to have such clear and firm ideas about exactly what’s right and exactly what’s wrong, isn’t it refreshing to hear of those whose sole motivation for acts of loving kindness is compassion?

And isn’t it refreshing to meet those righteous sheep who are genuinely baffled by the words of Jesus that, in their loving acts of kindness, they were really serving Jesus himself?

Reflect and pray over a time when you offered or received compassion from another person.

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