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Thanks Giving {42}

July 20, 2012

The other day I was out running errands, trying to get a few things done for this weekend. I am going to the Jersey Shore for a Bachelorette weekend for my sister-in-law, Tricia. As I was driving out of the parking lot of one store I was thinking about whether I got everything, whether it would be enough, how much it cost – the usual people pleasing and financial balancing that goes on in my head. As I sat in a line of traffic I noticed a young woman sitting under a tree playing with a little girl. Then I saw a man jog across the street back to them, and I figured their car broke down and they needed a ride. That would be pretty annoying, considering how hot it was.

Then I saw the sign he was holding – “Lost my job. Have a baby. Please help.” His face was dripping with sweat, humiliation, and fear. When I rolled down my window and offered what little I had on hand, his gratitude was sincere and humble. “God bless you, thank you, ” he said. I know, skeptics will tell me that it was fake, but I don’t think so. You don’t stand out in 100º sun if you’re just trolling for some extra cash. Seeing this man lose all of his pride, and put everything aside to do the last thing he can think of to keep his family going, it made me realize that my problems and worries aren’t so bad.

Yes, I’m still worried about money and whether everyone will have fun this weekend, and for me those are my “big” concerns at the moment. But I am so thankful that I don’t have to worry about whether I’ll be able to keep my home or my car. I’m not worried about Timmy losing his job. I’m not worried about making sure my family has enough to eat or something to wear, let alone little luxuries like ice cream and new toys (or yarn or bike tubes). I don’t have to be afraid of what happens tomorrow or next week. Thank God. Thank God!

Usually this experience would make me feel bad about being so self centered and worrying about “little” problems when others have bigger ones. After a day or an hour I would forget and go back to the same worries I had before. Instead, this time I’m asking myself what I can do to help. I know I gave a few dollars to this guy, but what can I do to help others? I don’t know… I have a donation of clothing and odds and ends, but what else? Maybe I can volunteer at our local food bank, or do a food drive…

Do you have any ideas?

What are you thankful for this week?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Beth permalink
    July 20, 2012 12:21 pm

    There is a homeless woman who wanders between Forks Township and Palmer Township. It never fails that when I am having a bad day or am thinking that I am sooo tired of driving from home to NDHS or feeling sorry for myself, she walks by. She’s never within “reach” but it always reminds me to pray for her and her pain. Aunt Beth

  2. Rose permalink
    July 20, 2012 12:33 pm

    Melissa –
    Love your post. Joe and I regularly cook meals in portions for about 35 men(mostly mac and cheese with broccoli and ham, and lots of cookies) for Saint John’s Hospice here in Philly. We try to do it every other week. Joe used to work in a soup kitchen, so this is what we decided we can do together. We’ve organized the cooking with students too. It’s a great organization – on any given day you will see men lined up to get their meals. There are definitely more homeless people, and longer lines at these organizations in the last few years. Joe takes the meals directly to the shelter. Here’s the link: I am certain there are similar places in Bethlehem. We love doing this together.
    Have a great time at the shore this weekend – it’s supposed to be beautiful.

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