Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Just an amazing moment...

I know that over time I have been preachy, funny, and sometimes really down right silly on this blog.... what I really created it for was to show the things I love in my life. My children, my passions, my moments that change my world... and to show who I am on the inside... not the who I am every day, but the who I want to be. What I aspire to be myself and want to inspire in others.

Today I saw something that brought out the best in me.

I was at a stop light. Next to the side of the road, as there usually is, stood a dirty man, in his 50's, with a cardboard sign that read "Veteran - food - need a job - God bless."

I looked and thought to myself, 'That man is still able to hold a job... what is he doing there? Is he like the bums down by me that trade off and work in shifts? Some of them are so dishonest... don't want to think the worst of the man....... try not to look him in the eye.'

All of this went through my head as I watched a man in his 40's, greying beard, jeans, red jacket, kind, ageless face... 'like my husbands' I thought... walk across the street.

He walked up to the man holding the sign... and asked him for a hug.

The man holding the sign melted into his arms. The man in the red jacket just smiled and held him. By the time the light changed and I drove away the homeless man was crushing his sign with the force of hugging his other man, and obviously crying.

I got tears in my eyes. Tears of joy for the kindness I had just witness and tears of frustration for the judgement I nearly cast upon this man for deceit that others had shown me.

It is rare that you see such life changing moments and know what they are. Moments that you can feel them wash over you like the ocean. But today, I had one of those moments. I doubt I will ever see the homeless on the side of the road the same.

I know that some are deceitful and lazy. I have watched 'bums' go from their corner, to their cars. It has made me angry for the money that I have given previous people that have stood at that corner. I have been hurt. But this man... he didn't do anything, and that small act of kindness very obviously the best part of his day. His week. Perhaps his life.

I was there to witness that.

I would rather be duped a million times than miss that look on one persons face when it could be made by me.


S said...

That was amazing! Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful testimony to human decency.

Anonymous said...

I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing.


Ter said...

It's unfortunate that the many dishonest folks make us all unwittingly discriminate against honest folks. If it weren't for those dishonest folks, life would be so much different for those who are honest.

Val in the Rose Garden said...

What is amazing to me is that this man could have easily been lying. EASILY.... the difference was, I didn't care.

It all of a sudden no longer mattered what he was going to do with the money I gave him. He have bought booze... or hell, he could have bought stocks, or paid his car payment with it.

Because if you give to ten dishonest people, but get the one that is complelely grateful and at you just made him eat for one more day, or gave him hope enough to get through another day... isn't it worth it to give all of that to save that one man?

What mattered to me the most is that it no longer matter to me at all.

Amber Mc said...

A beautiful moment. I'm incredibly thankful for the man in the red jacket who was willing to go to an uncomfortable place and offer love. We're all changed by the action.

Going Crunchy said...

I volunteer at a homeless shelter from time to time, and I do see those that can abuse good nature and good will. It's hard to know, so I just don't try.

When I see those that "work" the system, I'm just thankful that I had somebody to teach me how to live a better way.....and I just realize that they maybe didn't have that.

Awesome post.....and deep thoughts. Shannon

Quinn said...

Thank-you for sharing that experience with us.

Julie said...

You don't know me, but I clicked on your blog through our mutual friend Amber's blog. This post really touched my heart! My husband has been setting a wonderful example of always giving a dollar to every down and out person that asks on the side of the street. (We don't usually give to those who are asking for a specific charity - they do that here in Maryland, charities will send out people with buckets to stand at the street lights, we already have enough charities that we give to.) Anyway... I've been trying to follow my husband's example and your story just gave me a beautiful image to remember every time I give a dollar. I believe that helping the poor is one of the Bible's greatest commands, yet I often sit in judgment of those that I help. Your words have challenged me greatly!

Brie said...

I love giving money to people on street corners and can still remember things about man's fingernails, a woman's eyes. They are deep in my heart and I've never had someone not say thank you or God bless you etc.
This made me cry...what a blessing to have seen.
Oh and while I'm making a long post...I talk to my kids when we see them about how much we have to be thankful for and that these people were put there to help people appreciate life even if they don't have much.

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