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Caring Recounted - #1


My amazing friend Louise over at A Year of Making A Difference designates her Saturday posts to celebrating the heroes in our midst, common everyday folks who by their deeds and nature make the world a better place to live.  I love reading about the heroes she honors each week; it's made me more conscious of the heroes around me.

Yesterday I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work.  The temperature was 104 - miserably, suffocatingly hot, quickly squelching any desire to be outside.  I hurried across the parking lot toward the cool refuge of the store. 

Across the lot I saw a common site here, a homeless person, unkempt and dressed in ragged clothes, with a scruffy dog on a  rope leash walking along beside him.  They moved across the parking lot slowly, both looking hot and tired.  People took care to avoid them, most looked away, uncomfortable when faced with this man's misery.

Except for one... a younger lady dressed nicely, well tanned and groomed. She exited her car, water bottle in hand and headed toward the store.  Then, seeing the man and his dog, she quickly returned to her car and produced another bottle of water, which she offered and he accepted gratefully.  That was incredibly kind, but what happened next nearly made me cry...

Squatting down and removing the cap from her own water bottle, she slowly fed it to the dog, pouring the cool water over his tongue as he lapped eagerly.  She not only gave away her extra water, she gave it all  - to the lowliest of God's creatures, the unwanted and the unloved. Isn't that what the Bible teaches us in the familiar story about the widow's mite?  She didn't make a big production of it so that others would notice her act of kindness, she just saw a need and responded to it, a gift of the heart.

When I was in high school, the church I belonged to held a national youth convention in New York City which I was able to attend. The theme was "And We Say We Care".  Those words have come to mind many times since then.  It is not enough to say we care, we must consciously put that caring into practice. 

Watching the lady in the parking lot performing a simple but profoud act of kindness reaffirmed that I want to live my life this way... to act without question, to love without limitation.

Note: The writing promt for this week's Sunday Scribblings this week is "Eureka!" - the Greek expression meaning "I have found it" or "I know the answer"!  The wisdom I have found lies in the paragraph above.

36 comments:

  1. Nice post, Josie :) ~~ ... be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only ... James 1:22

    a Jim's Homeless in America post

    Jim's Six Word Saturday
    ..

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    1. Thanks Jim, this lady's actions warmed my heart for sure, she has her priorities in order!

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  2. It's a good thing that I'm unable to cry. I don't want to, I don't want to.

    I MUST put this into my heart and mind.

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    1. Same here Lotta Joy, I did cry! And I thought of all the times I didn't take the time, and vow to do better. What she did only took a moment, but it also took the desire. I'm going to start watching for more examples of how to live!

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  3. It is in one such act of kindness that many benefit, the giver, the receiver and of course those witnesses that will learn a valuable lesson and hopefully do likewise. What a wonderful post.

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    1. So true Old Egg, not one but many were blessed by what she did. She, the man, the dog, and certainly anyone who stopped to notice. I love those who witness with their actions instead of words.

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  4. I don't need the bible to inspire me to believe that empathy is a moral imperative. Thank you for the inspiring and touching story.

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    1. I agree, Granny, that we should all instinctively know that it is right and good to help out others. Sadly, knowing and doing are often two separate things. I'm glad you liked the story, witnessing this act of humanity certainly improved my day!

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  5. Josie this is an awesome post. I cried as I read it. THIS is what matters. This woman gets it. And obviously you do, too. Thank you for sharing, for reminding us.
    This kind of goes with my post last night, about "The Rule". I posted a picture of a bridge because it is these bridges that connect us. The bridges are there for us to cross, to reach one another.

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    1. Loving critters as you do Annie, I knew this story would touch your heart. It made me cry too, one simple act of kindness to a man and his dog, no questions asked, no judgements made. Something Mother Teresa would have done... a small thing with great love! Long ago I knew a song about "building bridges out of the walls that keep us apart". Amen to that, to this story, and to what you shared. Crossing over is joyful!

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  6. I think Jim hit the nail on the head. I must be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer. Awesome post.

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    1. I agree Tee, it's not about what we profess in life, it's how we live. Faith is love in action!

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  7. It's the little things like that, which make ALL the differences.

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    1. So true Lily. My hero in life is Mother Teresa. She said to do small things with great love. This story could illustrate that concept no better. If we each did just one small act of kindness each day, imagine the ripple effect it would create!

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  8. What a heartwarming and "pay it forward" story!

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    1. Thank you Tessa! It does a lot for one's feelings about life in general when you see someone do something so kind. There is good to be found in the world still!

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    1. Amen indeed Kay, each one... teach one!

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  10. There is an award for you on my blog:
    McGuffy's Reader
    http://mcguffysreader.blogspot.com/2012/06/june-awards.html

    How could I NOT give you this award?!

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    1. This is so sweet Annie, what nicer award to come from such a treasured friend! :-) I'll be by to collect it shortly!

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  11. A simple act but an important lesson for us all.

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    1. True Keith, I think so often the things we need to be reminded about life happen this way, not in the classroom or from preachers on the pulpit, but from observing people who are living lives in keeping with what we all know deep down is right!

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  12. Kindness is within all of our hearts...we only need to chip away the crust...

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    1. I believe that too, but it seems some people have grown so hardened that they are no longer able to feel compassion toward others.

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  13. That is nice, I always want to help the homeless also but, I never know what to give them so, I always at least try to give them a smile or, something so, that they don't feel like they're less important.
    : )

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    1. I think that is a really good gift Joseph! Sometimes the gift of recognition, especially for people who feel so displaced and invisible in our society, is a gift of grace. To smile, to say hello, to respond as we would to any other, shows that we see them as individuals, not as just "one of them". A friendly smile can so such a long way!

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  14. Jesus said that when we have done something for the least of these we have done it for Him. I think every act of kindness will someday be rewarded. If not here, there. God sees and takes note of things like this, if, as you said, it's not made into some big production to call attention to ourselves.

    I love this story and that it's true. Thanks for sharing and may God help me to really see what's going on around me. Sometimes I'm so clueless!

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    1. I agree Belva, it's not about making a big production, it's about living our lives according to the Golden Rule. We are here to be caretakers of each other. I'm goimg to keep my eyes open for more examples of people doing things right. It reminds me to be more aware of the needs around me. I also tend to walk around in my own little unaware world.

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  15. How lovely to be witness and to further the expression by sharing with us. The true course of gentle nature is for all of us and sometimes we must see it in another in order to form it within ourselves.

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    1. So very true! We get so busy and involved in our daily lives that we forget to take time to notice, to look around and see ways we might be of service. This was such an easy thing to do, but she was the only one who did so. I want to be a person who looks for opportunities to care for others... that is the lesson learned - not to be so preoccupied and "busy"!

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  16. What an uplifting post, Josie. Thank you for spreading this woman's kindness. Goes to show, you never know who's watching.

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    1. Thank you Cathy! Her example was a powerful lesson and touched my heart. I always note the not-so-nice things people do, but fail to notice the good. I'm going to be looking a little harder for acts of kindness from now on!

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  17. Those are the real heroes. The ones who don't run to facebook posting stupid "like this if you care" nonsense to feel like they've done something. The ones who just do what needs done because it's the right thing to do.

    The world needs more of them.

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    1. Amen, Monkey! And I so agree about the FB - especially the attempt to guilt one into clicking "share" things.

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  18. This made me cry, Josie. Sometimes I feel we are in danger of losing our humanity and when I hear things like this I regain my sense of hope. God bless that girl for her kindness. Thank you for sharing this story. It meant a lot.

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    1. I had the same reaction, Selma, it happened at the end of a day when I was feeling pretty down and it certainly cheered me up! I think she was an angel in disguise... she certainly was for the man and his dog!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)