Last week while on our little holiday getaway, while seated in a small restaurant, my Mr. AGPMan and I witnessed an obviously homeless man walk through the door begging for bread. Just by looking at him it was clear to see he had many problems...none the least of was that he was hungry, had no money and certainly had no place to lay his head.
I watched him as he walked up to the counter and was told to have a seat by a kind member of the waitstaff. My eyes stared at him as he sat down at the far end of a row of benches to await a call that his meal was ready. I was sure he'd been there before.
The restaurant seemed to both know and expect him.
Immediately the room started buzzing with sound. You know...the quiet, muffled chatter one doesn't intend for anyone else to hear? Only problem was we were all saying the same thing... The man smelled and he was filthy and no one wanted to sit by him. Given his appearance it was easy to understand why. His hair was matted and his hands and fingernails were caked with dirt and grime. No doubt it had been a long, long time since he'd bathed. His clothes were tattered and his deeply lined face was thin, heavily tanned and drawn. He looked like death.
As I sat there on my bench waiting for our name to be called my gaze became obvious to my hubby and he cautioned me to be careful with my stare. Still...I couldn't look away. I was taken in by the man's piercing blue eyes and couldn't help but wonder WHAT had happened to him to make his life become what it was...
Surely he was no older than I~
As quickly as the man entered the diner he exited out the same door just as fast. This time with a small bag of breakfast food in hand and a cup of hot, steaming coffee. I wondered where he was going and how would he spend his day. Did he have other beggar friends? And, at the end of the day, where would he rest?
When night fell I lathered up under a hot shower happy to wash away the cares of another day. I was more than content to crawl in-between warm blankets and looked forward to a good nights sleep. But as I laid there in my comfy bed, rest would not come. My mind returned over and over again to the beggar-man and as I remembered his deeply wrinkled face I was overcome with God's grace and the mercy-filled blessings He had given me...
The next day I awoke to a beautiful sun-drenched morning.
Thanksgiving Day had come.
The day brought to me a more than comfortable life.
A life with good jobs and wonderful friends.
A lovely home. Happy, prosperous children. Health.
A faith-filled heart and as a bonus
a table spread before me with amazing food.
Much to be thankful for.
I've made a lot of mistakes in my life and no doubt, before it's over, I'll make many more. I know the line that separates the best of us from the worst of us is certainly a narrow one. All the more reason to walk carefully through our days, being careful as to not fall prey to the idea we are better than another...
That day I asked God to help me even more to stop judging others by what my eyes see and to ask instead how my own heart can help the suffering, wounded and poor...
Aren't we all beggars in need of some kind of bread?
Blessings to you as the Christmas Season begins~
Love to you...