Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday 1-15

My quiet time this morning focused on kindness. The passage for today in Our Daily Bread was Mark 10:13-16, where Jesus welcomed little children, wrapped them in His arms and blessed them. The disciples tried to shoo the kids away, thinking Jesus ought not to be bothered with sticky fingers and snotty noses. But Jesus cares about ALL people, whatever their age, in whatever state of messiness. He calls me to do the same - to be kind and considerate, even of those who appear undesirable.

Are my eyes always open to the opportunities I am given to be kind, to extend compassion, to offer a simple touch or smile? Sadly, many times, I'm wrapped up in my own little world, eyes on the sidewalk directly in front of me, oblivious to anything or anyone around me. One particular incident haunts me still...

Last February, when Some Postman and I visited Seattle, the last day of our trip as we were walking to the train to take us to the airport, we were approached by a homeless couple. They asked for 75¢, all they needed to get each of them a cup of coffee on that cool rainy day. I wanted to give them three quarters, really I did...but my money was stashed away deep in my carry-on bag. The walk signal was lit up, and so I shook my head and walked on by. How I wish that I had taken the time to dig for those quarters! An opportunity missed to share a kindness.

Back at home, I don't have many meetings with homeless people. They are here, I just don't see them very often. Once in a while, a man with a cardboard sign will stand by the corner near Walmart. Yes, our community does have assistance available for folks in need, but sometimes that isn't enough, or they are only allowed aid once a month. And so I should stop...and do what I can.

Next time I travel, I'll be sure to keep some change in my jeans pocket. Next time I'm out grocery shopping, if I see someone standing at the corner, I'll stop to offer some food or a five dollar bill. And today, while I'm out running errands, I will look up from the sidewalk, offer a smile and a nod, hold open a door, say hello to a stranger. Open my eyes to the opportunities to be kind, Jesus!


Grammy Goodwill said...

This is how I know we would be friends if we lived close by. I have been convicted of the same thought. Now I try to always have some money in my wallet for those who ask. It's not my place to judge them. When I travel to Winchester, I always stop at the same exit for McDonalds. There was a man begging. I didn't stop, but I did charge a gift card. When I came back out, he was gone. I still feel bad that I didn't have any money for him

lantabmom said...

I love this blog. Definitely a good reminder to be ready. I saw a woman with her son standing outside Target in Des Moines a while back. I really wanted to give her something, but I rarely carry cash. I'm not a quick thinker, but thinking now, I should have went back inside Target and bought a gift card. Thank you for the reminder today!

Melissa G said...

Yes, Pat, I am SURE you and I would be great friends if we lived near one another! (We're pretty decent online friends, I think, too!) And at least you had the intention of helping that man outside McDonald's. I like Bev's idea of keeping a "Blessing Bag" handy. I think I'm going to pick up some Subway gift cards to keep on hand for that purpose. Having something ready to hand out the window seems to be the best plan.