This morning I sipped my coffee and pondered the three different blogposts in my head, struggling to decide which to post first. As WordPress loaded on my computer, I found myself thinking, ”you should at least try to catch up on a few other blogs before you even think of typing a post”! I was stopped in my tracks at the very first page I visited. A memory popped into my head, from about ten years ago – as clear as if I had seen it happen yesterday!
I am sure many of you are familiar with the statement : ”Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse…”
I am seeing a lot of that of late. More friends have passed in such a short space of time; our crime has escalated to a point that is even more frightening than what it was; I am seeing more and more people suffering in so many ways. And I feel utterly helpless.
To echo a line from the blog post that I read : For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand
I’ve had to stop trying to understand.
The part of this particular blog post that sparked the memory in me was this :
But give in proportion to what you have and can comfortably give (I did say ‘give’ and you will be giving, be that advice, consolation, time, physical resources). They get it for free and you pick up the tab. But as with food, there’s more than enough to go around. If only the world could grasp the fact that if each of us gave from our excess then we would change everything.
I remembered : sometimes we also just need to share the little that we have.
(And to quote another line from that same blog post : ”It’s a Law of the Universe that we get in order that we can give and then the Universe gives us more.”)
The only thing I have in excess is a heart full of comfort and caring, and my smile that comes from an unexplainable happiness within me. Those things? I freely give and share, because it is easy to.
The struggle comes in when it comes to the things I don’t have in excess…
And discernment is important in situations like that! I may not have in excess, but there are times where I have had to share what I did have – a loaf of bread halved so that we can eat, and so can someone else.
The memory that jumped to the forefront of my mind this morning was this :
About ten years ago, we were still relatively safe driving along, and parking, on the esplanade of our main beachfront – so long as you kept your doors locked and your windows up. I had been at a government building and had another couple of hours until I needed to get back. Since this was the route I was driving, I decided to stop and just watch the waves for a while. As I was driving along, looking for a good spot for me, I noticed an old beggar shuffling along, stooped low and leaning on his stick heavily.
I pulled in at the shop along the way and purchased the largest soup of the day that they had, and a loaf of bread. It was all that I could afford that day. I then doubled back to where he had settled on a bench, and went to give him the bag from the shop. He smiled, and thanked me, in his native language. I returned to my car, and looked back at him from its warmth. And what I saw made me cry – even now there are tears in my eyes.
A short distance away was a group of street children – about five of them in total, varying in age (the smallest looked about five years old). They were sitting on the wall, messing about in their ragged clothes. The oldest was scratching in the dustbin nearby, and unfortunately making a mess with the contents. The old man shouted something to him, and from the expression on his face I think he was chastised for his behaviour, ha ha! He hastily began putting the litter back in the bin. When he was finished the old man called him over, and they spoke for a short while. It looked serious. Suddenly a look of disbelief came over the child’s face, and the old man nodded and shooed him away.
I watched the encounter with great interest, wondering at this point what on earth had happened.
The child ran back to ‘his crew’, and the next thing they all jumped up and came running over to the old man. Some sat on the wall opposite him, two sat on the ground at his feet…
And I watched him share out that loaf of bread, and place the soup in the middle of their little group so that they could all dip their bread into it.
As the tears rolled down my face, I found myself thinking, ”But what will the old man eat tonight?”
I remember that that night I was so very grateful for the toast that the kids and I ate. And the thought that then went through my mind was : ”I suppose it was all he had to give them, to try and help them. It wasn’t much, and it didn’t solve any of their problems, but at least those kids had a meal that day!”
I don’t understand what is happening in this world right now. I can’t help everyone, all the time. But what I can do is help at least ONE person, in ONE moment!
Perhaps someone will notice that… not to pat me on the back, but to be inspired to do the same. The whole ‘Pay It Forward’ concept in a way.
I know everything is broken. But we can still try and bring small bits of sunshine to dark and gloomy days. ❤