Six Ringgit and Twenty Sen

This afternoon, I had about an hour to spare before I went to pick my son up. My daughter was with me, so we went for a Mother & Daughter time. We stopped at the local pisang goreng place (fried banana fritters) since it was tea time.

To my delight, my favourite fried chempedak was there. Yummy! After months of asking, finally I could savour it. Had two portions of it as daughter had her pisang goreng.

At a nearby table was my daughter’s vice-headmistress. My daughter greeted her and then continued our pleasant and fun time together.

A glance at my watch told me it was time to go. I thought it would be nice to offer to pay for the teacher as well. So I reached for my purse.

And as I did so, I felt my face going red…. I suddenly remembered that I only had TWO RINGGIT in my purse!

The waitress, seeing me pull out my purse, briskly walked over and started calculating.

My mind screamed with intelligent excuses and alternatives.


I stood up abruptly, propelled by anxiety and shame. Fixing my eyes on the proprietor of the shop, I found my legs striding over to the payment counter. There, I flung myself at his mercy.

OK, OK. Not as dramatic as that. More like I threw myself across the counter, face going more red and blabbed out “I have no money to pay!” in Hakka. I couldnt meet his eyes as I said “I am sooooo embarrassed”. So I covered my face.

I could feel so many eyes at my back…. especially my daughter’s!

Would he throw me out of the shop? Would he raise his voice in anger and let the whole world know? Would he insist loudly that I settle my bill before I left the shop? Will the teacher find out?

Thank God that the shop owner was a gentleman! He immediately spoke quietly and firmly that it was all right and that I could pay later. He knew who I was as I had at times dropped my daughter to buy her favourite pisang from him. Walking over to my table, he asked the waitress for the total, and told me I owed him RM6.20.

With utter relief, I stammered out my thanks and rushed my daughter out of the shop before he could change his mind!
This is what six ringgit and twenty sen looks like – the price I could have paid to avoid embarrassment! I console myself that this was good for humility!

Tomorrow I will settle my monetary debt. I owe him much more than that though. He was merciful and kind. He was also considerate. I feel so thankful over a small amount.

I am reminded of the greater price that has been settled on my account by Jesus.

Thankfulness fills my heart to overflowing.

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