Friday, December 11, 2009

'Tis the Season for Giving

I am ashamed to admit I am one of those people who pretends not to see the homeless person on the corner as I drive by... It makes me feel awkward. I was reminded today that this entirely the wrong spirit to have. I realize I can't help everyone, but today, Carrie and I helped one woman.

There is a woman who stands on the same corner in the Wal-mart parking lot every day and has for at least the last month that I can remember. Because of dumb "right turn only" exits, the only good way out of the parking lot towards home is right by this homeless woman. And there's a stop sign at her corner so you can't just drive by. Every time I make a trip to Wal-mart (which I've taken for granted lately) I have to drive by her. And every time, I try to look the other way and pretend I didn't see her so I won't be "obligated" to feel bad if I don't help.

The last few times I've passed her, I've wished I had a granola bar or something like that to give her, but I haven't. I've never actually read her whole cardboard sign (because I was too busy looking the other way), but I'm pretty sure the top said "Homeless, Hungry".

Today I made a decision as we passed her going in to Wal-mart. Instead of wishing I had something lying around in my car, why not pick up a couple things while I was grocery shopping? So we did just that. A few bananas, some granola bars and fruit juice. It only cost me about 6 dollars. Not that we're rolling in money, but as far as I could calculate, we have a lot more than she does.

After putting our groceries in the car, I walked over to her holding Carrie. She was sitting down, looking the other direction. As I walked up I said "Merry Christmas" and put the grocery bag on the ground next to her. She turned around and said "Thank You". I was slightly out of my comfort zone, so I smiled and started to walk away. After we'd gone a couple steps, she said with a smile, "Your baby's cute, she looks just like you".

I realized Goodness gracious, she's just a woman! She's not scary! We turned back around and Carrie smiled at her. We again wished her "Merry Christmas" and she said a little more energetically this time, "You too, Thank you very much". Carrie waved goodbye, and we walked back to our car to drive home to our luxurious, warm 2 bedroom apartment full of "stuff":

~Closets and dressers overflowing with clothes
~Beautiful Christmas tree and other decorations
~TVs, movies, computer, internet, cable
~Comfortable furniture and beds
~Fridge and pantry full of food (not to mention the extra shower we don't use that is currently serving as a storage unit for tons of food storage)
~Presents under the tree
~The feeling of having a "HOME"

Oh, how we are blessed. I wish it didn't take such an experience to remind me of how many blessings we really have. MERRY "CHRIST"MAS everyone!


Henderson Family said...

I love that post!!! I need to do more things like that.

Catherine and Derrick said...

Thank you for sharing that. I think Christmas is a time when we can remember what we have been given. You were listening to the Holy Ghost and I think it blessed both of your lives. I need to be better about doing the same. We have a similar set up for our Walmart and there is always a homeless man that is on the corner as well. Next time I go I think I will follow your lead.

Sierra said...

What a wonderful thing to do. We all encounter those situations and even when you give them something, it always makes you feel as if you 'have done it unto the least of these'. We have much to be grateful for each day.