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  • Quiara

The Privileged Stranger

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

black and white person shaking hands the privileged stranger by quiara pinchina

How can I bear it?

To give her a ride –

this lady who raised her


and controls them still

with just a look

and a disgruntled, “Oh.”

She will never learn

to drive a car.

How can I give her a ride

again –

and hear

“God bless you

Sister Eliezer.

May He give you a boy

for your first child.”

She acts like

I solved her problems

for the day.

But she has many

I cannot solve.

How can I bear it?

How can I bear it?

This madanm

the hushed conversation

on the porch –

My husband listens.

He pays them a visit

just to listen

yet again.

He’s gone for hours

and comes back

shaking his head.

“These problems they’re having –

they can only be solved

by a little more money

and a little more space.”

We are only two

in our yellow mansion.

We are eating

three meals a day

instead of one.

How can I bear it?

How can I bear it?

The police checkpoint

in the blazing sun.

The officer says:

“I haven’t taken anything

yet today.”

He probably really is


Ahead of us

waits Sunday dinner

prepared by friends.

But we have no money.

A fist bump.

A “maybe on the way back.”

But -

I pray he’s gone

when we return

because –

How can I bear it?

How can I bear it?

The bag of “provisions”

she slips me

yet again.

How can I take these

when I’m feeding two

and she has


Another gift

for ME?

And then

in the half-darkness

of that little yard

he smiles at me

and says “I can’t understand it.

But I love you a lot!”

All I can say is –

“I love you more!”


what have I ever done

to deserve it all?

And how can I bear it?

How can I bear it?

To hear them say

even one more time -

“God bless you

Sister Eliezer!

What you did

was big to us!”

When I do something

so small

for people who

carry burdens

I can’t even understand.


their hospitality

their generosity

overwhelms me.


I am the privileged one.

And -

How can I bear it?

To do so little

when they need



Should I even post this? I'm not sure. I hope it doesn't cross the line of respecting others' privacy. I love this congregation - sometimes my heart can hardly hold what I feel. It's incredibly hard to learn their stories and be able to do nothing. Many times I flip-flop from struggling with my own doubts and fears about the future - then squirming with shame when I'm hit yet again with the reality that we have so much compared to the many who are carrying bigger burdens. I have nothing but respect and gratitude for the people here and how they have truly "welcomed the stranger" and shown me love and generosity even though I have so little to give in return.

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2 komentáře

29. 11. 2021

You continue to inspire me.. Loved this last post.. keep writing and keep the faith.. oh and keep up your courage..

To se mi líbí
29. 11. 2021
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Thank you for your kind words!

To se mi líbí
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