My first thought when I saw the man standing on the corner with the "homeless, every little bit helps" sign was "yeah, right. there's no way you're homeless, you're young and healthy looking." Then as I sat at the stoplight trying to look straight out the windshield and not at the man standing outside my car I realized it didn't matter. He looked sad and hopeless and whether or not he really needed help it was my place as a christian to help him if I was able. I looked around the front of the van. It has been my policy in the past to give food to people who ask for money on street corners, but never money. I didn't have any food. I had forgotten to pack N's lunch and had no snacks either. So, I figured I was in the clear. I didn't have to help him, because I didn't have any thing to give him. As I drove away to go get food for N's lunch, for him to eat on the ride from one day camp to another (long story) an idea popped into my head. Get him a sandwich too, and bring it back to him. I wasn't sure I'd have time for that and not be late for N, but I decided to play it by ear. If I forgot about it, or didn't have time I'd let myself off the hook. But, guess what? The lights were in my favor and no one else was in line at the drive through. So, I ordered the extra sandwich and headed back. I sat at the light waiting to turn onto the street he stood on and took a closer look at him while I waited for another green light. He was wearing tennis shoes, khaki shorts, a white tshirt, and a hat, like a newspaper boy would have worn. He had a water bottle and a stuffed red backpack at his feet. I began to judge him again. I think I may have been had. This guy doesn't look homeless to me. But, what do I know about homeslessness? I turned the corner and saw his face again, eyes downcast and shoulders sloped. I turned into the parking lot and turned that car around so I would be on his side of the road again. When I got back to the intersection the light was red and I pulled up next to him and rolled the window down.
"Are you hungry?" I asked.
His eyebrows raised and he nodded his head. "yeah."
I reached my hand towards him and handed him the sandwich. "Here you go."
"Thank you, I really appreciate it." He said looking in my eyes as he reached for the sandwich. His fingers touched mine as he took the package from me.
I mumbled something like "your welcome" as I pulled away and rolled up the window. I saw him fold up his sign, pick up his bag and water bottle and head away from the traffic to eat.
While I drove to pick up N, perfectly on time, I might add, I felt so spiritually full. I thought I was going to help this man, but he helped me.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thursday morning 6:30, the alarm goes off. Dave and I contemplate our plans for the day while listening to the rain outside. The kids are beyond excited about a trip to Great America and we hate to disappoint them, but it doesn't look like a good idea. A couple of them are awake and so we ask them their opinions. How about we wait a day? We discuss pros and cons. While it is not raining in Gurnee yet, there is a 60% it will and a 40% chance for Friday. By the time we are done talking and it is time for a vote all the kids are awake and they unanimously vote to go for it. I am less than enthused. But, it is their trip, and they are okay with being wet and possibly not getting as much time there, they just don't want to wait anymore after having to wait for 8 months for this promised trip. So, we get ready and head out. Before we leave the driveway Dave hops out to grab some sunglasses and asks if I want some. I look at the grey sky and shake my head. I'm not going to need them, grumble grumble. On the way it pours for awhile and then we seem to get ahead of it. I obsessively check my phone for weather.com updates. We stop for a big breakfast in Wauconda and run into Dave's aunt and cousin. Weird. A happy coincidence and they sit with us and chat while we order and eat. While we are there it pours rain. Apparently the rain has caught up with us. Blech. By the time we leave it has stopped and the sky is brightening. We cross our fingers and get back in the van for the last 25 minutes of the ride. I start organizing my stuff, pulling money out of my purse and into my pockets and find a pair of sunglasses. "I better put these on, I'm gonna need them later". Dave wants to know where my optimism comes from. I have no idea. We get close enough to see the coasters and get a couple more drips on the windshield. Please, no more rain. Please. I don't want to be a cranky wet momma. We park in the cheap parking and walk the distance to the park gates. The kids are more bouncing than walking. My socks are wet before we get through the gate from all the puddles. But, do you know what? It didn't rain one more drop the rest of the day. We had a cloudy sky for the first hour or two and then the sun came out and I did need those sunglasses after all. There was time for all the rides and junk food and we all had a blast. We just won't talk about the tornado warning that occurred as we were waiting for the light parade to start which caused them to close the park early and kick us out and how it rained so hard on the way home that we were going 20 on the highway.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
This is a project I made after my Walk to Emmaus in August of 2008. I'm pretty sure I never posted it. It seems appropriate for this post because keeping priorities in line was a big part of what I learned that weekend.
I don't suppose there's any way to slow time down, is there? I need a couple more hours in each day. I can't ever seem to get caught up. I'm talking about everyday things caught up. If the house is in order, the bills need paid. If my desk is organized with bills paid, and no paperwork to fill out then I've forgotten to take on of the kids somewhere. It seems impossible to get everything right all the time. Something has to suffer. And I'm not really complaining, my problems are all blessings. we have a house to clean, money to pay our bills and children to shuttle. When there are lots of people who don't have some or all of those. It's just that the perfectionist in me wants to get it all right. So, I just pray that I'm getting the right stuff done when it needs to be done.
- ▼ 2010 (10)