Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Real Gratitude

It's two days until Thanksgiving, so of course Facebook, TV, Twitter, and so many other outlets are littered with thoughts of thankfulness. I actually enjoy reading what strikes other people as points of gratefulness- it's just unfortunate we have to have a holiday to ignite it in all of us. But, we're human. I have seen people on Facebook declare their thankfulness for their spouse, only to complain about them three days later. Ditto for their children, home, food, etc. I don't judge- I am sure I am guilty of the same. But.....

Today was different. This afternoon, I passed a man on the side of the road with a sign that read "Hungry and cold. Any help appreciated." He was sitting somewhere I have never seen a homeless person sit- so it caught me off guard. I was on my way to WalMart (save your ridicule about my going to the grocery store two days before thanksgiving).

Mathew 25 was running through my mind all the way there... "The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." I really felt God tugging at my heart to do something. So, I bought him dinner from the deli at WalMart. He asked if I had any gloves, but all I had was a blanket. I willingly offered this man the baby blanket I had in the car and left feeling like I offered him so little. I cried on the way to pick up the boys. This man, with a smile on his face greeted me. He even crossed the street so I wouldn't have to. When I told him I would pray for him, he told me God has blessed him already. Wow. Not what I expected to hear.

So, I picked up the boys and a pizza. Greg is hunting and gone until tomorrow, which means pizza and cookies at my house. Eli screamed all the way through dinner, I broke up two fights that ended in head locks, Jake burned himself on the cookie pan, I had mildewed laundry in the washer because I forgot to flip it, Jake threw up in the bathtub and Eli pooped in the second tub.

Any other day, I would be so irritated... Probably complaining to my friends about hunting- because of course, all this is Greg's fault. :)

But, today- all I can see is that man's face. He was sunburnt in November. Sitting outside all day, everyday does that. He was weathered. He needed a haircut and a bath. But, he smiled and felt blessed. Who am I to complain about vomit in the extra large jacuzzi tub? Or smelly, wet laundry in the brand new washing machine?

God taught me a life changing lesson today about real gratitude. I shared it on the blog not to share with others- but to serve as a written record to remind myself and to show my kids when they are older. I am human- I am certain I will need reminding.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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