Approaching Others Differently

Today was a glorious day for a bike ride. The weather was great, and my pace was good. I left happy. On the way out, I saw a homeless man struggling with a caravan of shopping carts and other wheeled contraptions. He said something to me, but I did not understand him. On my way back up the path, I slowed when I came close to him. He asked if I had a trash bag, and I responded, “no, sorry, I don’t.” Then he offered to pay me to go to the store and buy some for him. I responded that I didn’t have the time, which was not true; I could make the time. I rode on.

This interaction haunted me as I rode to my truck. I have more than enough why is it hard for me to go out of my way to help another person? I complain about our society not caring, and I just rode by and did the same. When I got home, I shared the story with my wife, who supported my idea to return to the bike path with a sack of bags and a bit of food.

The second ride was equally as beautiful. When I reached the man, he was shining with gratitude and said, “You are one in a million.” It is sad that such acts are so rare. He was another human and needed some simple assistance. Helping him was my way of putting feet to my belief in being there for others. It does make me exceptional, merely aware.

My parents raised on Biblical stories including the loaves and the wishes. I never saw the story as Jesus’ miracle but rather as asking people to share so everyone can have enough. Listening to this guy’s need and doing something directly to help him will not change the world but it was a spiritually right act.

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