Thursday, January 14, 2010

Answering a prayer

I was going to blog about my knitting and post pictures of my recently finished projects, then I had an encounter today that made it all seem frivolous. For those who follow me on Twitter, you know I saw a homeless man today. Italian had told me the night before about how he spied a homeless man wrapped in a sleeping bag yesterday, and then today, I saw one. I was driving to work when out of the corner of my eye I saw him, huddled in a bus stop, sleeping wrapped in a sleeping bag given out by a local charity this time of year. I muttered a hurried prayer under my breathe that God would show him mercy and provide for him. Then I kept on driving. I dropped Little Clover off at school, drove through the parking lot towards the school exit when the idea to drive to Chik-Fil-A and buy a breakfast sandwich popped into my head.

I dismissed the thought. It was out of my way, I needed to go to work. I didn't want breakfast, why would I go and grab something? It was too much effort to drive and wait in the drive through. Chik-Fil-A will be crowded. Then, I stopped, waiting at the school exit for the street to clear. Here I had just asked God to show the man mercy and I was finding excuses for why I wouldn't be the one to fulfill my prayer. How could I, in my warm car complain about the inconvenience of getting breakfast for someone who needed it? I changed directions and found myself waiting in the drive through line scripting what I would say. As I left the restaurant with protein and carbs to fill his belly and juice to nourish him, I hoped he would still be asleep and I wouldn't have to recite my script. I was ashamed at my selfishness and embarrassed by my car and warm coat. I left the breakfast by his sleeping side, hopped back into my car and wept.

As I drove to work, I remembered something Miep Gies, the woman who helped hide Anne Frank, said. Despite the accolades and awards she won, she always maintained she was no hero and no one special. She believed "People should never think that you have to be a very special person to help those who need you." I hope my small action honors her memory in some small way.

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