At the grocery store today I grabbed some cheap food for lunch and ate it in the seating area outside, noticing a woman at a table down from me. She was resting her head in her arms. At first, I didn’t realize she was homeless, but once I did, I decided to cut CC and my grocery list short and buy her something to eat. Something resonated strongly within my spirit to do so.
I finished eating and went inside to do my shopping. I didn’t have any money left over to buy her food, and I really wrestled with this. After several calculations and putting things back on the shelf, I peeked outside to see if she was still there. I didn’t see her, so, ashamedly relieved and thankful, I went back inside and picked up the items I’d returned to the shelves.
When I left the store, I saw that something was terribly wrong. The woman wasn’t seated at the table anymore, and that is why I didn’t see her. She was laying on the ground, with the store manager and two young men watching over her. I heard sirens and my heart broke. I slowly walked to the end of the parking lot and waited to ensure that the sirens were from emergency vehicles arriving on this scene. They were, so I left.
This wasn’t what I’d had in mind. I didn’t want to be relieved of my own heartfelt responsibility to buy this women food and free to purchase more groceries for CC and me because something had happened to her. I thought perhaps she’d gotten up and left or maybe she wasn’t homeless after all and someone came to retrieve her. I cried and talked it out as I walked home. My spirit was, and still is, devastated. I hope that this woman is okay, or will be okay.
As I hashed it out, I realized that a shopping trip that had begun with frustration over a client not yet paying me and, consequently, being severely strapped for cash, ended in the realization that I am so fortunate. I did have money to buy food for CC and me for another day or two; this woman appeared to have nothing; not even her health anymore.
I do not know what was wrong with her, but regardless, she is in a far worse place than I am. I have loving friends who took me in, no questions asked. I am truly fortunate; this woman is not, and there is a lesson to be learned by this distressing situation.
I learned that I want to appreciate instead of grouse over the things that I have, no matter how small. I want to be thankful, not resentful. I could’ve been lying on that cold ground today, but I wasn’t, and for that I am grateful.
Yes, a client owes me money, and I’m so thankful he does. What if he didn’t? I wouldn’t have that money coming in at all. What if he hadn’t contacted me out of the blue just when I needed the work? I wouldn’t have that money coming in at all. Yes, this is good, Sharon, not bad.
I pray this woman is okay and receives the help that she needs. I suppose going to the hospital is much more helpful than a sandwich would’ve been. Although, I still would’ve been honored to have bought her the sandwich and wished her well.
Happy Holidays to everyone. I hope you and yours remain thankful, warm, and safe during the season.
Note: I will be resuming the Haiti series shortly. Forgive the delay between posts.
Copyright © 2015 by Sharon Platz All Rights Reserved