"He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward...And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward." - Yeshua
From the onset of my birth, all the way through my childhood, I was known for my complete inability to 'sit still' for very long. This is why it was no surprise to my parents and to those who knew me from thence to see me take up roaming as my favourite pastime, at the age of 13. It was during one of my aimless wanderings that I encountered a test. I found a wallet full of money lying in the middle of a dusty road, in the middle of somewhere I don't remember.
Bending down to retrieve the wallet from the unpaved, dirty road, I looked left and right to see whether I was being watched. My teenage mind hadn't been corrupted to know by then that taking money somebody's hard-earned money was normal in this world. In between my lean downwards and my upward rising, I had already lined up the itinerary that the money was going to meet. Yoghurt, sweets, video games, football boots, you know name it: I had bought them all in my mind.
I was now in a straight standing position, skimming through the wallet of my newly-found riches. I counted. about ehm... Who cares how much I counted?! It was a lot of money, and that's what counted! I was excited, apprehensive, scared and curious all at once. My niggling guilty conscience ate away at me. In the end, I came up with a brilliant idea. I would find the owner of the wallet and give them their lost property, in hope of a reward or tip for my 'righteous' deed.
I started asking around.
To my internal delight, everybody I asked responded, "No, the wallet isn't mine."
Until I met this dreaded woman. Precisely, a middle-aged woman who was in the white house across the dirty road. I came to this information when the attendant at a nearby corner store told me about how he he had seen a woman alighting from a taxi right where I found the wallet. This was after he had confirmed that the wallet wasn't his.
"Agoo!", i banged on the heavy, metallic gate!
The woman's head appeared over the wall. She wore a big smile on her face as I showed her the wallet and handed it over to her through the now-open gate. I lingered a while to see what my reward would be, and there it was: a simple thank you, a warm goodbye wave, and a firmly shut gate. What disappointment, and yet, what sense of vindication I felt. This paradox of emotions needed to be expressed, so I ran home to tell my parents what I had done.
I told my mother first. Without even letting me finish my story, she asked me for it; upon which I told her that I searched and gave it back to its owner after having found her. My mother reacted with great anger, sadness and despair, almost like a jilted lover suffering from unrequited love. I was confused. I was expecting a message of congratulations and a hug, maybe. Yet, all I got was a long face.
Next, I told my father the story about the wallet and my mother's reaction . Father shook his head in disappointment at my mother's reaction.
He looked at me, nodded his head and said, "Well done Joe! Pay no mind to your mother; you did the right thing."
"Did I?", up till this day, I still question myself.
Sit with me by this fire.