Yesterday I went by my local pharmacy to grab a few things. As I walked out, I saw this woman eating someone else's trash fast food out of the trash can. She had no shoes and was filthy. It was hot, too. I was so struck by it that I didn't even know how to react. I just went home feeling sad and angry. How did she come to this? Where was her family? It stuck with me for the rest of the night. How is it that in a world of such wealth and plenty we have so many people suffering? Maybe it was addiction or violence or poverty that brought her to this place, it doesn't matter to me. I feel fairly certain that no one, in a healthy state of mind, would choose her position.
This morning on my way to work, I saw her again. She was in the same clothes- oversized men's pants that are dirty and shredded, A filthy shirt and no shoes. She was picking up cigarettes off the street and smoking them. She was rocking back and forth and talking to herself. I quickly grabbed the 2 cold water bottles, a kind bar and vitamin water that I had on my seat, rolled the window down and gave them to her. While she fumbled to grab them, thanking me graciously, the light turns green. The man in a pick up truck behind me starts honking and yelling at me.
Really? I mean, really? Is my split second moment of kindness inconveniencing you so much? Are you in that much of a hurry? Did you even see her? My guess is yes to the first two questions and no to the last.
It worries me. We're all running so fast and getting so tough. Are we losing our little moments of compassion? It scares me to think of my kids growing up in such a hard and fast culture. I'm scrambling in my mind trying to think of ways to show my children a kinder place. I'm grateful to this woman for showing me such intense vulnerability (perhaps unwillingly). I'm grateful to the man in the truck for showing me what I do not want to be in this world. Today was a lesson.