Conditioned by the continuous, rudimentary trappings of everyday life, it is not uncommon for a gentleman to become oblivious to the life of privilege and comfort that he routinely enjoys. I am no different. Mundane pleasures such as clothing, sustenance, and shelter can largely exist as invisible, absent the proper appreciation and recognition that is deserved. Such imperceptible pleasures stand as much-required blessing to those individuals deprived and barren of such objects of contentment. Yet many of us partake in our blessings with eyes wide shut to the impoverished masses surrounding us. And as it came to pass one day, I was stirred from awakened slumber to the sight of an older gentleman, wheelchair bound, stationed at a street corner just outside of Costco. Missing both lower limbs, he was armed with the obligatory sign requesting assistance, and attended by a lone, aged radio with a modest array of food dispersed about, as I can assume some good Samaritans donated to him.
Seeing the gentleman, I was deeply moved. So I parked and made my way over to him for some conversation. I asked if he needed anything because I was headed into Costco. Pausing briefly, and referring to me as “brother”, he stated he could not think of anything. I asked if he was sure, and on a second contemplation, he requested a Detroit Tigers baseball cap if I could find him one. He didn’t try to game me, swindle me, or scam me. With the Tigers’ pre-game transmitting from his radio, he only wanted a ball cap. Scanning the area, I saw a few stores that held promise, and I finally settled on a Dunham’s Sports to procure the requested item. Disappearing for about 30 minutes (I had to walk some blocks), the war veteran (assumed by his gear and sign) showed a genuine expression of gratitude and thankfulness. One would not think that a simple Tigers cap would elicit such happiness. But that is what occurs when one takes for granted what another individual may not possess, as I have stood guilty of on many occasion. My word to you: Be thankful of your blessings, and when presented with the opportunity, be a blessing to someone in need.
Great post Glen! As a pastor, this is one virtue that I preach every single Sunday. The message of “others” is powerful. We need each other. We sustain each other, but in order to be a blessing, we must first love each other. Your heart spoke to you that day, and this is a place that all of us (mainly men) are in need of being led to– the core of the heart. I say this because it is there that one begins to find God in his life.
Hi Fred – True, we do need each other. I see homeless people all the time, and it’s hard to stop and help every single person, but something about this gentleman on this day moved my spirit. We are just one catastrophe away ourselves from being in a bad way. I keep that in mind and I am grateful for what I have.