Friday I was the first person to the office in the morning. A homeless man sleeping in front of the front door startled me as I nearly stepped on him. I woke him and he moved out of the way. Instead of snarling at him to get a job, as I might have done at one time, I asked him if he wanted a cup of coffee.
He gratefully accepted and waited outside until I came back with a cup of the freshly brewed stuff. He thanked me, took his coffee and headed down the sidewalk to do what ever it was he was going to do that day.
On Monday I left work to go do yoga with my friend Lisa. Afterwards I stopped by the grocery store then moved over to the gas pumps to fill my car. As I was waiting for the pump to finish, I watched a man standing at the corner of the driveway, sign in hand, panhandling. Most of the cars went by without stopping, but one pickup did slow, the driver handed the man some money and drove on. As the truck pulled away, I saw the man bend his head in prayer. Whether he was praying for himself, or the driver, I couldn’t tell you, but it made me reflect on my life for a moment.
I had just spent time with a good friend; I had a car full of groceries; I was working on a tank full of gas; I was headed home to a loving husband and a sturdy roof over our heads. I was blessed in so many ways.
In my purse was two dollars. It was the change from a large order of fries I had bought earlier in the day, not because I was particularly hungry, but because I just wanted some french fries. As I pulled way from the gas pumps, I fished the two dollars out of my purse and a handed them to the man on the corner. As he leaned into the car to get the money he said, “God bless you ma’am.” All I could think was; he already has.
Will these small acts of kindness make a huge difference in these men’s lives? Realistically? Probably not. But if a butterfly can flap its wings in Mexico, and cause a typhoon in China, imagine the potential a couple of dollars might have.
Someday it may be me sleeping on the sidewalk, and it sure would be nice if someone brought me a cup of coffee.