Monday, February 3, 2014

Sandwiches vs Bus Passes: One of Life's Greatest Dilemas

I didn't think it would ever happen, but I was finally laid off. It's been years...I'd devoted huge chunks of this blog to it. I'd written and reflected so much that other sites had picked up my story..but if finally happened

I heard a few condolences, which struck me as strange because personally I've been relieved. The hard part now, is being genuinely thankful and seeing being let go as the blessing it is. It's been easy to be glad I'm free, glad I got a severance and happy I'm away from some toxic people...happy I already had projects in the works, but am I thankful? A little, but honestly, if the circumstances were less tilted in my favor, I don't think I'd be feeling quite as awesome. I'd still be scared and likely having quite a few freak-out prayers a day. I got a good reminder what all that means last week.

I met a friend for lunch and after dropping her off, cut through a parking lot to avoid construction on a main road. I rode past a dumpster and saw a man in there digging. He was thin, disheveled--it wasn't too big a leap to think he was homeless. Now, here I'd like to tell you that I stopped and offered him my leftover half a sandwich. I didn't. I drove right on past and on my way home.

I didn't make it too far though...the magnitude of my selfishness hit me, so I circled back through construction and rush-hour traffic, kicking myself for not doing the right thing the first time. Well I found the guy again next to the same dumpster and asked if he were hungry. He asked if I had money I could give him. I'm personally not to big on giving money directly to people unless I'm specifically moved in the situation, so I asked him again if he wanted food. Again, he asked if I had some cash to help him get a bus pass. I could feel myself climbing on my high horse. I asked one more time if he was sure he didn't want anything to eat. He asked what I had and I gave him my Cuban sandwich.

I drove away thinking "man...that sandwich was good. I could have kept it and saved myself some gas." But then...then I saw myself. I saw how quickly I'd forgotten that the man actually appeared hungry. I saw how quick I was to forget that what people fight and push and strive for isn't always what they need. It was quite possible that man needed food more than money, even if the words didn't come out of his mouth--kind of like how I'd lived years needing peace more than a job, and had been too weak to just quit a position that was killing my health and happiness, and take what God had already blessed me with.

Many times I've been in positions where I needed a sandwich but was busy asking for a bus pass.

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