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!