Thursday, December 10, 2009
What Meets the Eye is not always What is in the Heart.....
I hesitated even putting up this post right now....given the "holiday season" It's kind of natural to lean toward "good will" thinking and gestures. However, the story I have to tell is not one that happened to the tune of the salvation army bell, to the back drop of falling snow, or even a cold month of the year. It was a warm day in May, not too long ago....
Let me start with the fact that I was raised in a household that taught accountability. You paid your bills, took care of your family, you didn't shop at Good Will, didn't participate in the reduced lunch program, didn't get medical cards, food stamps....you get the picture. My folks aren't snobs...they just believed in making your own way and not "copping out". (for the record, I *love* the Good Will store, this was just an issue with my Daddy)
Soooo....I kind of had this preconceived notion of some things that I wasn't accustomed to.
So anyway, I was driving to Wal-mart with my kids when as I was turning in, there sit a guy, with a dog, holding a sign that said : VERY HUNGRY, PLEASE HELP...ALSO NEED WORK.
This wasn't a new sight, nor was it surprising.....and my first reaction was "ewww". He looked like he needed a bath, and was outright asking for something. Now, I didn't say this out loud, but I *did* think it. My kids said, "Poor Man"...I said, "Yes, poor guy." But I was thinking, "maybe you should get rid of the dog, take a bath, and try to look presentable." I turned in the parking spot and went in. With each step I took, the feeling of dread in my heart grew. I was sick. I was told in my heart, by that still, small voice that I know well, that I *knew* nothing. I felt with a certainty that I would not make it home safely if I didn't take the man some food. I could list a million reasons why I didn't feel like I needed to give this man something 1.) our budget is *really* tight with Handsome Hubby's pay cut and he is out there daily working hard for not much 2.) Shouldn't that guy be "in action" trying to be productive in finding employment.....etc.
But anyway, I bought some things that had a long shelf life and took them out to him.
I don't *know* if he was legit, I don't *know* that he ate the food (he could have fed it to the dog?)...but I *do know* that I am answering to a higher power and *HE* will get my attention and if I want to keep my lines of communication open with *HIM* I will do his bidding. (Whether I can *figure out* the issue or not, this seems to be a problem with my analytical mind).
The point is I don't know everything, even what meets my eye does not scratch the surface. I am trying diligently to keep this in mind. There are things I will never understand. Recently while taking Dear Daughter for her Vandy checkup, I watched parents with terminally ill children. I read names on a memorial for pediatric cancer victims....Am I *better* than those people? NO.
I have always considered it a blessing to have healthy children. But am I "blessed" because I am better, harder praying, more deserving than the parent who just buried their child. Absolutely not. So I am considering my words.....
I recently commented on someone's home saying it was "lovely".....and it was, very nice interior and exterior, nice furniture, up to date everything. Parked outside were nice cars, and they went on a long vacation a few months prior. I was answered with , "Yes, we are blessed."
Sometimes it sounds like "Blessed" is tantamount to wealth, health, and "stuff". Hmmmm.....
I'm a firm believer that "hard times" (in whatever form) will come to us all....and that it is best to show empathy, offer genuine prayers, and reach out...no matter what you consider "a blessing"...
My opinion (and it's only that) is that it's a blessing, a privilege, an honor to be able to worship in freedom, call upon *Him* without fear, and trust in Him, my God, in the times that are troubled as well as the times that are peaceful.
I was once told you don't get the burdens you deserve, but those you can carry. I know some mighty strong people, whom many wouldn't consider "blessed"...but their strength is amazing, their grace is encouraging, their walk with God ..inspiring.....
*Blessed* is truly in the heart of the beholder....and it's not always what meets the eye that reflects what lays in the heart.
- ► 2010 (10)