Sunday, November 25, 2012

~THE BEGGAR MAN~

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~

Mental problems?
Drugs?
Alcohol?
Abuse?
Neglect?
War?
Rage?
WHAT?

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...
 

18 comments:

Karen Mary Butterfly said...

This was beautiful and made me cry. We do have so much to be thankful for and when I see someone down and out I am Thankful for all I have. And, I too, realize how one tragic event or another could lead to such demise. Thanks for the reminder.

Karen

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

It's nice to know that the resturant helped out this man...a child of God...I'm so guilty of not helping when it is obvious that I can and should. I hope to be more giving to those around me who need help...whatever way I can.
hmmm...maybe my word for 2013 is "give"...something to think about!
Warmly,
deb

Theresa said...

Our hearts go out to those less fortunate! I don't ever want to forget those in need! BIG Hugs and tons of blessings heading your way my friend!

Susan said...

THAT is the 'chosen fast' spoken of by the Lord in Isaiah!

MarieC Brisson said...

Merci beaucoup pour cette réflexion, nous rentrons dans une période de l'avent qui demande de se poser des questions sur la vie, les uns, les autres, sur nous....je vous souhaite une bonne soirée.

sissie said...

Indeed we are Rebecca. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Does make one pause and give thanks for the many blessings we recieve everyday.

hugs
Sissie

Pink Roses and Teacups said...

This brought tears to my eyes dear Rebecca. We must always count our blessings, no matter how small. I felt guilty, lying in my nice warm bed one night recently, watching the news on TV, and the devastation some have endured from hurricane Sandy. We were inconvenienced yes, but some lost everything. Makes you stop and count your blessings. We are truly blesssed.

Hugs,
Debbie

Rebecca said...

Translation from Marie C Brisson:

Thank you very much for this reflection, we are entering a period of Advent seeking to ask questions about life, the one, the other, on us .... I wish you a good evening.

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Rebecca,
Oh yes, IF only all of us would from time to time realize how blessed we are compared to so many!
Hugs to you,
Mariette

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Beautiful post Rebecca, and one we all need to remember. Not only at the holidays, but every day. Blessings to you my sister.

Jocelyn @
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

Stephanie said...

This made me very teary-eyed. Thank you for sharing this and reminding us of all we have to be thankful and the importance of not "judging" others. We truly need to be like Christ and look at the heart and share His love and compassion towards others. Blessings to you!

Hugs,
Stephanie

Teresa said...

Beautiful post. I know that around here the numbers of homeless are way up this year. So sad. So many people don't realize that not all of the homeless can help them selves. I never knew how many kids in our area schools are homeless. I can not imagine not having some where to lay my head at night! Some times I watch the news and think...only by the grace of God go I. Especially when I see how people in other countries live. War all the time. I am really blessed!

Carolyn said...

Rebecca,

I watched a movie one time long ago when my daughters were little about a "normal" American family of 4 falling on hard times and becoming homeless...it had such a lasting impact on me. I realized then that it could happen to anyone...we are not exempt. Since then I have shopped at the grocery store several times filling about 6 bags at a time, each bag containing peanut butter, jelly, bread, fruit, 1/2 gallon of milk, bag of carrots...delivering them to homeless non-threatening looking people in the downtown area. You would think I gave each one a bag of gold when my daughters and I make the delivery.

Each time I see a homeless person, I see them in a different way since viewing that movie. God.bless them.

NanaDiana said...

What a poignant story, Rebecca. I, too, sometimes avoid the eyes of those that are homeless and hungry. It is a burden that is almost too big to bear sometimes.

Blessings to you, Rebecca- you are a good soul- xo Diana

~willa~ said...

Your story is a strong reminder that the Bible tells us not to despise the poor. I commend the restaurant who took care of this mans need, that was a Christ like action. Thank you for the reminder to look to the needs of others during this holdiay season.

~willa~

Shabby chic Sandy said...

A beautiful story--so sweet that restaurant feeds that man. Really makes people like us realize how lucky we are.

Bonnie Hitchcock said...

This story made me cry, but this season does that to me because I am often reminded of situations such as this. In years past, I have visited the nursing homes. I haven't been able to do this since Mama. Maybe it's time to go again.
Thanks for opening my heart to look for the needs of others and not so consumed with my own worries. I truly am blessed.

Barb said...

This truly breaks my heart. When I see these people, I never know what to do. More often than not, Ron holds me back. So many of them do not use the money given for the right reasons. Still.....how my heart breaks.

xoB

Blog Archive