Blessings and Tears

Tears and blessingssharing love

Today is Tuesday.  On Tuesdays we have to go into “the big city” for violin and gymnastics.

As we got off the interstate for violin, there was a young man sitting in what I think was a wheel chair with a dilapidated cardboard sign.

I don’t know what the sign said.

But I do know the man had short, dark, curly hair, brown eyes, and was wearing jeans.  My kids were in the backseat, I normally do not stop to give money to the homeless; I had a quick thought go through my mind.

They need to see me give to someone else; someone other than them.  We talk about sharing our blessings, but I want them to see me actually share (the opportunity doesn’t present itself often living in the country).

I opened the change cubby in my car and picked up a roll of dimes.  My husband and I had organized all the change in the car for toll booths on our way to see our family last week.

I rolled down the window, stopped my car and looked in his eye. I handed him the dimes and smiled.  He said, “Thank you, ma’am, have a nice day.”

The tears started pouring.  I don’t know his story, I don’t know where he came from or where his mama is.

But someone taught him to say ma’am.

Someone loved him enough to teach him manners.  Where were they now?  What happened that this young man, most certainly younger than 30 and probably not yet 25 years old, no longer had someone to protect him?  To be his advocate ..

If I am completely honest with myself, I cried mostly for him, but partly for me.  He looked like my brother and I know that had my brother lived long enough he too might have been sitting in a wheelchair with an old cardboard sign where the interstate meets the highway.

I don’t know where his life turned; I don’t know if he was a product of the system, a broken home, an abusive parent, or was an entitled rich kid whose family refused to support his habit.

But he blessed me today in more ways than he will ever know, and he blessed my children.

When I was crying, my daughter asked what was wrong, what did that man say, what did I do with the window down.  I explained what happened and she asked why it made me cry.

I told her, “because he doesn’t have anyone to love him today.  He doesn’t have a home or a family like we do.”  (I couldn’t really explain completely to a 5 and 3 yo that though he may have a family that loves him, they can’t support him right now because he may have some tough issues.)  We often discuss that there are many, many grown ups and children without a home, food, parents, families, etc.

She and her younger brother quickly exclaimed if they were grown up they would get him a house, and food, and make him their family. {I wish it were that easy}  But I told them maybe one day they could help build houses for people without one, or we could go feed people dinner that don’t have a meal.

I doubt he will be there next Tuesday when we go to town for our many extra curricular activities.  But every time I stop at that red light, I will be saying a prayer for that young man.

He blessed us today.


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