There was a homeless man today on the side of the road as I was leaving Target. He carried with him a sign that read something to the extent of " Traveling, Homeless, any little thing helps.". I saw him and immediately my heart went out. Alot of people don't believe in giving money to the homeless for many different reasons, and that's fine. I've been in big cities before where homeless people pester you. I've had a man in Chicago try to sell me out of date newspapers, and a man in New York City ask me for food, but there was something about this man today that made me feel something.
Jon was in the back seat with Izzy, so I asked him if it was ok that I give the man a couple dollars. He said that was fine, so I rolled my window down and the man walked over to the car as if he just knew. I handed him the two dollars I had in my wallet, and before I could say anything the man said "Thank you so much, I appreciate it, and God bless you." all I could say was you're welcome.
I learned two things from this moment. One, you should always take the time to say what you feel you should say, and two, that sometimes there are people in this world who just need to be given a little hope in their lives. Before he walked up, I had wanted to say God bless, because I meant it. But when he got to the window I couldn't get the words out. Why? I have no idea, maybe it was the devil holding my tongue, or maybe I was just surprised by his kindness. But I still want to find that man and let him know I want God to bless him, and help him reach his full potential in life. I wanted to tell that man to hold his head high and never loose his faith in God. I wanted to say that God could help him thru anything, and keep him out of the devils hands.
In all honesty would I have told him all of that? No. But the least I could have done would have been to return a simple God bless. The whole situation made me think, how many times a day do we think about what we want to say to others, and we still don't say it for one reason or another? How many missed opportunities have I had to say something nice to my husband or my daughter? Tell the people you love, that you love them, give encouraging words of kindness, and don't put others down thru your words... that's just a few things that man taught me today. And I wish I could tell him thank you.
The other thing I couldn't help but think of was hope. How many times have I felt down in my life because I didn't feel like I had any hope? How awful must that man have felt begging for money, completely homeless with just the few items he could carry to his name? Now I know there are alot of people out there who look at this situation and say " He put himself where he is! He doesn't deserve help because he didn't work hard enough!". Well I'm sorry, but I know there are honest people out there who run on hard times. How many times have I been knocked to my knees and only by the grace of God and the love and help of those around me gotten thru?
Sure, the man could have used my money to go buy beer or drugs, or whatever. But I pray I helped him see for just a minute, that there are still people out here in this crazy world who believe in helping others. Did I need to give away those two dollars, no not really, my family (just like alot of families) is struggling to get by. But my family has a home, and each other. If I ever get too stingy to give two dollars to someone who is in that desperate of a situation, God be with me. I just wanted to give that man hope for a better tomorrow, or just a better night. Who knows where he is now, or what his life will become... but he helped me learn things about myself today. He helped me think about life lessons I want to teach my daughter, and lessons I need to remind myself of each and every day. If all that just cost me two dollars... I think I did ok.