When you put down your phone a minute
and go to you grandmother’s room,
and sit in a chair close by her bed, and ask her,
“Gramma, tell me how it was, before?… before all the cars
and sickness and internet; tell me how you rode your horse everywhere
and there was fish in the sea for everyone?“
If you do that willingly… you will learn many new things
while being with her….and; this too is an act of charity
When you cut up papaya and lay out the bananas whole,
washing the boards so they don’t smell like squirrels…
and you leave the scene alone and wait for the first customer
and there he is, she is, they have been eating all day; they don’t need your food
and yet you offer something they love not growing on the vine or stalk right now,
a dessert, a soft banana or papaya pudding for babies to gobble up easily…
and you never expect them to pay you back … this too is an act of charity.
When you walk in the streets, mask in place, keeping your distance
and you see people busy and people afraid to be out.
You come across such white faces, that never see the sun.
You pass by people breathing big sighs, just to be outside again…
and in all this hustle bustle, you choose a face, standing maybe in a doorway,
or you see a face waiting to cross the street and even with your own face hidden
by your mask, you give them the brightest smile, your eyes twinkle and curl
at the corners, until there is no doubt you are smiling at them, because their eyes smile and crinkle back at you; even this is an act of charity.
April 17th 2021 (Ramadan)
*Footnote In Ramadan we are asked to consciously be more charitable.
“And, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Smiling in your brother’s face is an act of charity” (At-Tirmidhi; Declared Authentic by Al-Albani)