Saturday, December 6, 2008

I was unexpectedly blessed...

Sometimes blessings in life come in the most unexpected packages, from people and situations that we would least expect to see the hand of God at work in the world. I am no stranger to the incredible generosity of many, many good folk in the work area of my life. Working in the Public Relations/Recruitment/Development area for the children's home I am often amazed at the way people will reach into their pockets to help abused and neglected kids.

That being said, I was still unprepared for an experience that I had TWICE last Thursday. We were downtown at the central eating/shopping area during the lunch hour handing out fliers to the corporate lunch crowd about the Santa Sleepwear Drive that the local business association was sponsoring. It was hovering at 32* and we handed out over 400 fliers in a 3 hour period. The initial response was tremendous and hopefully we will see the fruits of our labors at the collection times that are upcoming.

Any time you hang out downtown you have a chance to interact with the homeless and the mentally ill. Thursday was no exception. We had the corporate executives in their business suits and cashmere overcoats as well as grimy, smelly, unkempt folk shivering in their meager clothing. As we were a diversion from the usual we drew any number of homeless who stopped by to chat and ask questions about our display. Most of them were interested in our giveaways, the ink pens, the post-it-note pads, the magnets, etc. And it was fine, that was what they were there for.

It was amazing how much compassion these folks expressed, any number of them revealed that they had grown up in foster care, and hoped that the children we served would have a nice Christmas. We were not specifically collecting money although we had our donation box out as we do whenever we have a display.

It brought tears to my eyes when two different homeless women, women with nothing to their name, women who were living on the streets, gave us a donation from their meager resources. The percentage amount that they gave to help another was incredible. I was reminded of the Widow's Mite, etc. But to see it in action, to see people who have nothing give to others that they perceive as being more needy than themselves, and to give with no thought of reward or recognition or compensations. It humbled me in a profound way. And it blessed me as well. To see the good of God in unexpected places is so the message of Christmas and to be able to be present before God's work was ... I am wordless.

Thanks be to God and may God hold the homeless in warm hands in the coming days.

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