Monday, May 14, 2012

Thanks for being a friend

"Thanks for being a friend."

- Those words opened my eyes to see a homeless man in a new light.

Sometimes I don't know how to react to homeless people asking me for money.  I don't feel comfortable giving out money (and usually don't have it to give) but I also really do hurt for the person begging on the street.  So many times, I just try to create distance and avoid looking them in the eye, because then I would not have to deal with the guilt of not helping them out.

I made the decision that today was going to be different.  Because of some things going on in my life right now, I knew that today had the potential to be a very difficult day.  So last night, I decided that I was going to move in the opposite of my own feelings and the circumstances in my life.  I was going to take my eyes off myself and do something for others.  I went to Target and got a couple of loaves of bread and some peanut butter to make sandwiches.  I bagged them up and packed them ready to hand out to some people on the streets.  In the midst of circumstances that could possibly leave me dreading the day ahead, I actually had something to look forward to and I was excited to start the day.

When I left work I walked towards the Metro and stopped to hand out food to others that appeared to need it.  I met a man who could not take the food I offered because he could not eat peanut butter, but I stood there for a moment and listened to him tell me some things about his life.  When I was leaving, his words to me were, "Thanks for being a friend."  All I did was stand there and listen.  He did not even take the food I had to offer, but he had a great appreciation for the moment that I took to listen to him.  The bottom line is, people matter.  I may not always have money to drop in a cup, but I can surely smile and possibly even pause for just a moment to say hi.

I continued on my way, with joy in my heart as I had the opportunity to hand out peanut butter and honey sandwiches packaged in plastic bags.  As I made my way to the Metro station, tears began to well up in my eyes, not because of all the things going on in my own life, but because I had just given two men in the park some food.  I had just had the opportunity to tell them, "I give this food to you in the name of Jesus because He loves you and He cares for you."  Just a very brief encounter to let them know that they matter.

If you are going through a hard time, I strongly recommend going out and doing something for someone else.  It really is a perspective changer and in the end you will probably find that you have been more blessed than those who you were seeking to bless :-)  Be love in the world and look at every person as if they matter - because they do...we all do.

1 comment:

  1. have i told you lately how incredible you are? i love the heart God has given you for others and yes - to take your eyes off your own circumstance and help others in need gets you through the toughest times in life - at least that's been my history.


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