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.