Since my sister and I started blogging a few months ago we promised to keep each other honest and always be real, really, really real– no matter how it makes us look– we have to be real or this whole blog is a big slice of nothing.
So a little back story…
I think I have had more than my share of encounters with crazy people. I grew up trying to save them, then I worked in a large bank in downtown Davenport and if you want to see crazy–my customers were a mix of industry and indigent. Mix casino traffic, substance abusers, lawyers, bar owners and exotic dancers and you have a great mix of every kind of crazy. I have stories, lots and lots of stories!
My next job was in an Emergency Room. So, it was most of my old customers, only naked and bleeding! I saw people at their worst and every kind of rock bottom you can imagine. I used to get in trouble trying to help and feed everyone. I was forbidden to make eye contact with some patients…’cause they could sense my weakness. I have stories, lots and lots of stories!
There is an intersection in Davenport, Iowa (Interstate 74 and 53rd Street) where there are panhandlers 24 hours a day. I must admit, they always made me uncomfortable. I would gauge whether I would be able to make it through the traffic light and not have to be the unlucky car stopped right next to the person with the sign….
So here we are, earlier this week. I drop Moe and Curly off at school and I take Larry with me “over town” for errands and shopping. We have been trying in the Hanson Mansion to give our boys a vision of the suffering in the world and have been looking for ways to help. There is a new song playing on the radio talking about “The least of these” and I find myself saying “I wish I could help” often.
We pull into town and there is a man with a sign right off the highway, it says, “I don’t want money or work, I am HUNGRY–please help”. It is sad how my mind works. I start trying to talk myself out of helping. “Maybe it is not safe”, “I can’t do anything”, “What good would a sandwich do”…”Give a man a fish” “He will probably use the sandwich to buy drugs”….
I swing into the Subway. They have a deal on a footlong ham before 10:30am. I order it and ask the gal to put all of the “fixin’s” in a bowl. I tell them I am going to go feed that hungry man at the off-ramp. (I am such a wonderful citizen of the world!–please hold your applause ’til the end)!
I buckle up with my, “Sammie for Jesus” and swing around town to go deliver my “Blessing”. I am so excited, like my boys on Christmas Morning. I imagine his face light up when shone simple generosity, we share a sip from the cup of the milk of human kindness…this will be an inspiring, heart warming moment I will never forget.
I pull up and over onto the side of the road, roll down the window and hand the man his sandwich. I tell him to have a good day and that God loves him. He looks me in the eye and says…”There better not be any F#%$&^g onions on here!”
Then I had the thought…Shame on me! I really did that all for me! I didn’t need to broadcast it or expect a big fat Thank You. If I am going to talk the talk I need to walk the walk. Poor me, I didn’t get a big hug from a strange man when I gave him a sandwich that hardly cost anything. If I really took a sandwich to Jesus would I expect a THANK YOU?
I told my Hubs later that I can’t believe I have experiences like this just for blog fodder, but for a greater and higher purpose–like “Learn something dummy.”
I guess I will just leave you with this today, if you have a chance to show kindness or help somebody, don’t miss the opportunity, but what ever you do–hold the onions!