Curtisj Johnson

Got Any Change - Poem by Curtisj Johnson

Got Any Change?
By Curtis Johnson

There seems to be no lack of opportunities, but an inadequate supply of ‘readiness’. In spite of our awareness and desire to help, when the opportunity comes knocking, we must be ready, or we will find ourselves caught off guard and unprepared.

My most recent opportunity came knocking on yesterday morning, Monday, July 7,2014, at around 8: 55. I was getting gas, and just before I finished fueling my vehicle to depart, a young lady appeared and said to me, “Got any change? ”. She appeared to be in her mid to late 30’s. I did not see nor notice her prior to her request, but she was retrieving bottles and cans from the trash container when she spoke to me. I’m sure that she heard my reply, but probably did not understand when I, being filled with sadness, said, “O my Lord”. I uttered such words because I was so very displeased with myself for not being ready or prepared for such an encounter. I seldom have cash, and today was no exception.

I reached into my pockets only to find it empty of any cash, even change. No surprise. I then looked into my vehicle and found a quarter to give to her. She said, “Thank you”. As I drove away, I continued to stare in the direction of the gas station, unable to get the lady off my mind.

My thoughts and prayers have continued to follow that lady whose face I cannot erase from my mind. Her face was visually dirty and with soap and water, it can easily be made clean again. But I tell you, there is no washing of her face from my memory.

I wanted to do so much more for the young lady, but only had a quarter to give to her. Nevertheless, on that July Monday morning, I determined that with God’s help, I would not be caught off guard with such a person again.

The brief encounter with the lady at Am Pm motivated me to activate a small mission that I had already begun. A few days ago in my garage, I started preparing what could be described as “Mercy Packs” to be given to people such as the lady.

I do not want to be unprepared like that again. I do not want to experience that “ O my Lord” feeling again. That is why I went home on yesterday and implemented my plan and placed the packages in my vehicle. These packs contain various kinds of non perishable snacks, Gospel material, and a one dollar bill.

I don’t know the name of the lady, and I may never see her again. I have assigned to her a name that I shall remember as Angelica. She also has my prayers and the prayers of my friends when I tell them of her. May the face of God shine upon Angelica, and favor her whose name is known by Him. Cj07082014

Topic(s) of this poem: food, love

Form: Narrative

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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