Friday, December 18, 2009

Approach

Nearly every day for I don't know how many years, I have driven past a woman on my way to work. She "lives" outside of the library downtown. Every morning she goes through all of her possessions, stuffed into two very large trashbags. Over time the trashbags have become worn and she began patching them with duct tape (I don't know where she got that). Every day I'd think to myself 'I should give her some new trashbags', but then I'd forget by the time I got to work. I felt uneasy about approaching her; I'd never spoken to a homeless person before, and I often wonder 'what happened?' Finally, one of her bags became unrepairable and her belongings were lying on the sidewalk, so I realized that either I remember the bags, or her few possessions were going to end up stolen or thrown away. I grabbed the trashbags I had left, some change (I don't pay for things with cash, so I rarely have any money around the house) and some bananas. I drove towards work and saw her standing there trying to tape up the remaining bag. I pulled up to the sidewalk, took a deep breath and got out of the car. I didn't know what I was going to say. She didn't look up until I spoke. I held out the bag of items and said, "I noticed you needed new bags." She smiled, "Oh gosh, thank you so much!" I nodded and went on my way. It was no big deal and I wished I had stopped before.

This is yet another challenge to myself, and this time also to you: do something you wouldn't normally do, something you keep meaning to do. Tomorrow never comes, there is only today.

3 comments:

Inge' 12:53 PM  

I applaud your thoughtfulness to this woman.

I think we are all a little fearful of the unknown. Approaching a stranger and offering kindness can be misinterpreted and can leave us wary of ever trying again.

It is good that you were willing to face her reaction to your gesture whatever the outcome. I am reminded of the verse about "attending Angels unaware".

Thanks for sharing your experience!

Rose 3:45 AM  

Thank you!

Jan 4 Insight 5:35 PM  

Good on you, Rose, and thank you for sharing this story of acting out of the true Christmas spirit - even if it seemed a little scary at first.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

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