Anything Is A Blessing
Her sign said “ANYTHING IS A BLESSING.” Every penny of the dime to my name is accounted for but I had an unopened Mnt Dew and the affections a big lovable dog, Max. I thought hey that’s something, right?
It was and she had smiles and seemed to really appreciated it. As I was leaving she followed her thank you with a statement that struck me… Despite my seemingly tiny contribution of which I hoped she would receive in good spirit her statement really said something about our society and our willingness to be more giving in our everyday lives in the most practical of ways.
Experiences in giving
Among the countless stories here are a few of the most recent.
I subscribe to the idea that money is something I will not give to someone in need. If they need something to eat, a ride somewhere or could just use a hello and good day I’m a great steward. I have a pretty accurate BS indicator too – but I will gladly buy you a gallon of milk – which is always taken up on so I assume the need for milk for real – some people ask for money – I ask what they need – it’s usually nothing beyond my means to give without a monetary contribution.
The discretion I’ve learned is from learning the hard way.
I’ve been held at gun point for conceding to provide a flick or two of a lighter – I even offered the lighter if the perpetrator would just call it at what it was – unworthy of my or his time and cannot end good – just take the damn lighter… In this scenario they got nothing but years in prison as I was among several victims. On another occasion, buying a guy a burger, lost my wallet – after the purchase he managed to somehow pocket my wallet then jumped out of the car as it was moving… The perpetrator in this scenario had a lady call me trying to return the wallet – in exchange for cash – yeah… I actually ended up getting it back somehow and wasn’t present at the time but made arrangements to give “reward” later – several harassing messages on my phone later I called it BS and kindly asked they LMTFA..
However, on other occasions I’ve gained a great reward for my good deed in at least gratitude for being in a place to show kindness – something we don’t see a lot of in our society – not even in the most practical ways by everyday folk. We tithe and give to our favorite charities and much more – some more than others – but we give of what we have – or we should…
One day I saw a man holding a sign asking for money – I honestly try not to make eye contact because frankly I will not give money. I was headed to Jimmy John’s and thought I would buy him a meal too, the second time I’ve treated someone to JJ. When I returned the local police had the man and several other people on a dividing wall around the corner. I approached and asked the officer if I could give the man the meal. He responded that I was welcome to do so but the man was going to jail with the others and they can’t have food there – it would just be thrown out – too bad. They were being arrested for public intoxication – the number one reason I will not give anyone money – even the officer mentioned the guy probably would have turned it down anyway. Case in point, I’ve offered to buy food on multiple occasions only to be turned down – they need that drink and I get that – I try to say a thoughtful prayer because they aren’t alone in their struggle and God can and will help if sought.
The bag lunch our friend lost out on did not go to waste.
Driving through downtown I pulled over to see if anyone was hanging around our library where the homeless and outcast / downcast citizens congregate. I knew someone would appreciate the meal. I noticed one person sitting at a table alone wearing the usual garb of the needy – over dressed and hooded – looking as though life forgot who they were. I recognized the person as I approached – it was a very kind lady I had encountered before downtown. The lady is black and elderly and she mumbles – she refers to herself as “D”. She attended UK and knew several popular Jazz artists from her heyday and spoke of her past as though she were prominent and going somewhere in life. I’ve never asked her about how she ended up homeless and seemingly outcast because it’s not what I’m interested in though I’m sure it would be so.
I’ve seen D around town at a local park and near the court house where I first encountered her. That night was interesting… When I met her it was already 2am and the bars were letting out from the Friday night before. I had been drinking or I probably would have known better than to be out wandering around like I was. I spent a great deal of time on a window seal just having a few sparse words here and there until I asked if I could sit next to her – she conceded. Somewhere in all this an intoxicated passerby made a rude remark to which I responded with an offer to fight – the guys girlfriend convinced him to leave it – I advised him with my big four letter vocabulary he better listen to his girlfriend. D didn’t show any interest in the spur – after all I was defending my pride – not hers.
I offered food and hit Taco bell per her request and returned – she ate – I ate – it was good. I asked if I could stay the night with her – I would go get my own blanket – it was freezing in the middle of January. It was all good. She even let me rest my head on her shoulder that night – I fell in and out of sleep until daylight. I told her it was a pleasure and if I saw her around I would be no stranger. I then walked across the street, got into my parked car and returned home. Really? Yes… It happened and it was good – not something just anyone could pull off – I just have that personality type and I’m persistent.
So today meeting the young lady at the service station was nice.
I pulled in not realizing there wasn’t what I needed – a car wash – and spotted her near the front entrance, pulled toward her offered what I had to offer and made a friend. I didn’t need to know her life story or why she stands with a sign asking for others charity but there she was. I didn’t see her as some lost person who needed my help – I simply saw an opportunity to say hi, smile, give a cold drink and the affections of my dog – which he gives freely and in abundance – and that took all of five minutes but is priceless in it’s experience, both that of meeting a new person but also giving of myself – even in the smallest gesture. It was a blessing.
Oh, what was that statement she made?
God bless you. Most people won’t extend a look my way let alone a smile and your gesture gives me hope – it is a blessing.
Good – if I can be an example of giving even if with ANYTHING – well I truly have plenty and of this I am grateful and because I have gratitude, I am happy and because I am happy it’s possible to give out my smiles and handshakes without bias or partiality toward another’s place in time and space.
Entertain strangers for in doing so you might entertain an angel.
It doesn’t matter what we perceive of the characters we try to ignore in our society because the reality is they are human just like anyone else. I can empathize with them in that alone and determine they are deserving of my expelling that happiness driven by my gratitude and guess what – it rubs off and returns ten fold! Even if it’s ten fold the five minutes I gave I still get more than I put in…
Homeless by Peter Griffin
This post was last modified on July 8, 2014 - learn more.
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