Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Countdown to Christmas - Remembering

"The advantage of a bad memory is that
one enjoys several times
the same good things for the first time. "
Friedrich Nietzsche

Christmas Eve eve - December 23rd - my mom's birthday. I guess people don't still have birthdays after they've passed away. Yet it seems to me the day should not go by un-noticed.

The 23rd of December has traditionally been the day everyone in my neighborhood lines the streets with luminaries. I know it's all about sharing the holiday with neighbors but to me it's like having a big birthday celebration.


There's a Bible verse that says something along the lines of not to make a face when you are fasting, and don't make a big deal out of giving to the poor. The beauty of these acts is that you don't call attention to them.

Well, I've never been one to let an opportunity to toot my own horn pass by. I did an act of kindness today that made me feel pretty good and wonder if I'd been taken advantage of at the same time. What do you think?

As I was coming out of the drug store, there was a couple sitting on the sidewalk who of course talked to me before I could pass by unnoticed. They were obviously weathered, probably homeless, and in need of something. I listened to the whole story about not being from around here (the Massachusetts accent gave that away), not having a job, just getting out of the hospital (wristband still in place), sleeping outside and being hungry. In my best "Sorrow" impression, I asked if I could buy them something to eat. Their eyes lit up and they eagerly said they would split a cheeseburger from the joint across the street.

Jumping on my white steed (or small gray Chevy, as the case might be) I smiled like a Christmas elf as I whipped back into five o'clock traffic. In a moment of greater charity than was probably warranted, I bypassed Wendy's and went to the BBQ joint next door. I got meat and vegetables and big glasses of tea. I was feeling pretty good when I got back to the drug store until I noticed the people were gone. I felt a little frustrated that my good deed wasn't turning out so well. Undaunted I decided to drive around the block and see if I could find someone who wanted 2 chicken dinners with all the trimmings!

Again I pulled out into the traffic. I soon spotted the couple standing in front of Wendy's no doubt thinking I'd scammed them instead of the other way around. But I waved them down, handed them the food, delighted in my own tenaciousness and made one more left hand turn into the busy roadway. At the red light I watched as the couple crossed the street and leaned up against a building to eat. The woman dug right in. The man, however, began to walk away. Where was he going? I felt a little sad as I watched him head straight for the liquor store. Forget the iced tea, I guess nothing goes with BBQ chicken like a nice cold brew.

All I could think to do was offer up a prayer that wherever they are on life's journey they will be blessed and maybe one day if they are able, they will pay it forward. Call me naive. Maybe I should have been more upset than I was, but I'm pretty sure my heart was in the right place. I think maybe my mom looked down from heaven and smiled on me. And that's what I want to remember about today.

Wishing for you enough food to fill you up and a warm place to sleep,
Merry ME


Fire Byrd said...

Random acts of kindness just make our day when we do them.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that there is a collective sigh of relief/joy throughout the heavens when a random act of kindness plays itself out in this cynical, tired space called earth. Do the angels above watching share the joy of the angels below receiving? Would the world celebrate the 'good news' of caring - being our brothers keeper - if only the good news were broadcast with ferver, more frequently, to a larger audience. Horn tooting is good for the individual soul. An act to pleasure the tooter. Sharing a deed accomplished/well done is to remind those of us who forget just how powerful a good deed is. Let's not judge the intentions of others as they receive, let's stay focused on the gratitude shimmering throughout our collective/connected spirit. Thanks be to GOD for the givers, and the receivers. Praise GOD for allowing us to carry out Loving All Peoples. Rejoice with GOD that humanity IS a job well done.

terri st. cloud said...

i love you.

so much.

Molly said...

it's not what they do with the gift, it's that you cheerfully gave it.

merry christmas to you, miss elf!

Vicki/Jake said...

Just stumbled upon your blog and read down a few posts...
Bless you for being who you are. My Mom told me once that it doesn't matter what someone does with the money you give them, it's the fact that you gave it that matters. Hope you had a great Christmas and stop by any of my blogs
and this one..