I debated for a couple days whether to share this experience or not, and finally decided I ought to. Please keep in mind I’m not bragging or trying to gain favor or brownie points or “good for you” applause. It’s just something that happened and has made an impact.
When my dd and I were out shopping Saturday, we were pulling out of a shopping center parking lot. We had just bought some groceries and were coming home. I saw a man sitting on a rock facing a large sign. At first I thought he might be waiting on someone or fixing the sign. But as I got closer, he appeared to be homeless. He was dirty, ragged, and thin. And he looked very cold.
A thought popped into my head like a brick in my lap…Go see if he wants something to eat.
I ignored the thought. I’ve never stopped and done something like that. I put change in Salvation Army buckets and stuff like that, but never stopped to help a homeless person out. So I kept driving.
Then the thought popped back into my head like a load of bricks on my lap….Go back and see if he wants something to eat.
Ok, fine, I’ll go back. I turned into the next entrance of the shopping center and pulled up to the man. My dd asked what I was doing; I told her I felt I needed to do something real quick.
I rolled down the window and asked, “Are you ok?”
The man turned and looked at me for a second. For a second I wondered if he was mental and was gonna do soemthing crazy.
“Yeah, I’m ok.”
“Do you need anything?”
He paused for a couple more seconds. I would have loved to know what was going on inside his head. “There’s a Burger King up the street. I could use a couple bucks to get something to eat.”
“I’ve got a bagel and a couple oranges. Would that work?”
“Yeah, that’d be great!” At this point he stood up and took a couple steps toward me.
I grabbed a few dollars and stepped out of the car. I handed him the money and walked to the back to open it up. He followed me. He saw and heard my baby “talking.”
“Oh, you got a little one in there?”
“Yep, I’ve got 3 actually.”
“Aww, they’re so cute at that age.”
Then we talked about the weather for a minute as I opened the bag of oranges and the big deli bagel I had bought. I handed him my bagel and 2 oranges.
“Thanks so much for all this.”
“Yeah, no problem.”
He walked back to his rock with lunch and a few bucks for dinner and I got back in the car. My dd said, “Good Mommy.”
I drove home in my new car. I drove home to a warm house. To my loving family. To a refrigerator full of food. To my warm bed. And my warm clothes. To a tree decorated with lights and a pile of gifts.
I was truly humbled Saturday. I have so much and I gave so little. I wish I had thought about buying him a warm pair of gloves or a sweater.
Think of those around you. Keep your eyes open to someone who may need you. I assure you, if you look, you’ll find someone. And you’ll be more blessed than they will if you help. It’s Christmas.