I have blogged before about two of these people. Tonight I want to write about another one. He works part-time at the ALCO Store here in Houston. He also works at Auto Zone.Nothing wrong with his work ethic!
Twice now, during my shopping trips I have had the opportunity to talk with him. He's a young Black with children. I haven't asked his age, but I'd guesstimate it in the 27-32 age range. He's cheerful, considerate and extremely helpful. Tonight I ventured into ALCO alone, so he helped me take my purchase out to my car and load it in. We were chatting about one of the items I bought, and I discovered he was born with a heart murmur. I told him of losing my father at age 46, just days after my 10th birthday and how it tore my life apart. I begged him not to eat so much salt, since heart disease in Blacks takes more of them at earlier ages than it does Caucasians. Then we chatted a bit more about nutrition and its importance in combating heart disease.
That conversation took a glissade into living each day as if it were your last. We both felt that that attitude goes a long way toward putting things into perspective. It's very hard to remain depressed, angry, or selfish if one asks one's self each day "If I die today, how will people remember me?" It's also hard to rush through life oblivious to others and to the beauties that lay around every corner, whether that beauty is the laughter of a child, a carefully tended flower garden in a run-down area of town, or something else.
"I try to do God's work every day," he said. Now in one of my smart mouthed moments, or with someone who knows my warped sense of humor well, I might have retorted "So what's wrong with God today that He can't do his own work? He call in sick again?" Instead, I commented that we never know just what it is that God wants us to do every day, or in our lives. We may think we know, but only God knows. Maybe it's a kind word to a stranger badly in need of kindness, something seemingly inconsequential. The conversation ended with him telling me to take care of myself because, he said, "I love seeing you up in here, moving and smiling. You have a beautiful smile."
Each of us has an opportunity to be a blessing to someone each and every day. It need not be a grand gesture. Nor need it wait until Christmas when one is feeling generous. Hold the door open for a person in a wheelchair, even there is someone pushing them. (You might be surprised how hard it is to open a door and push someone through, even the person being pushed is helping.) Take a couple of cans of food to the local food bank every week. People have to eat all year long. Order an extra packet of vegetable seeds and send them to a community garden in an "urban desert." If you see someone at the gas station driving an old beat up car, wearing old clothes, pay for an extra gallon of gas for them. You can think of a 1000 ways to do little things for people, at little to no cost to you. Suspend your judgment about whether they "deserve" it. Do you think God withholds His grace because "(s)he didn't deserve it?" If that question gives you a problem, perhaps you could look up "grace" in a dictionary and rethink your answer.