What would you do if all you had was what you could carry on your back? What would you keep? What would you give away? What if all you had was what someone has given you?
Sometimes I feel helpless, like I haven’t done anything with my life, and that I’m going nowhere and drifting through the days. I had something happen to me about a week ago that has helped me trudge through those feelings.
I’m writing this post not to brag, but to hopefully put life into perspective for you, like it did me.
To start out, I want to say I married a saint! An absolute gosh diggidgy saint. (so much so that I’m surprised the heavens don’t part and the angels don’t start singing hallelujah) Several times a month he stops and gives food to the homeless living under a bridge we pass on our way home from church.
This week he brought food and I told him to ask if they needed anything for the freeze coming that night. He came back up and said they needed blankets, so off to lovely Wally World we goooooo………
Lets cut to the chase. I don’t normally go down there with him, per his request, but since he’d been down there a couple times in the same day he felt comfortable enough to let me go. I went down there in my church clothes, slid down the mud (even passed a bright orange Bible on the slide down), and met an older man trying to rig up a 16 ft tent into a 5 ft space, his middle aged son and his wife, as well as another man. There were formalities of course. They were so kind and grateful! But the real meat of this story is that I didn’t have a coat on in this super cold weather. I was trying not to shiver because for some reason I thought that would be insensitive. The lady asked me what size coat I wore, but I ensured her I was fine! She kept saying that she had a coat that she couldn’t wear, but I told her it was going to be cold tonight and she might come across someone who needed it.
This lady wouldn’t give up ’til I took this coat, so I went over to look at it. It was beautiful, in perfect condition, and this lady really really wanted me to have it, so I held it in my arms while we continued discussing what else we could help them with.
I finally got so cold that I draped it on the front of me. I kept thinking, I don’t know where this coat has been, I don’t want to put it on.
Finally I hit myself and realized how rude I was being. I thought I was doing the right things by bringing food and blankets, and even gave joy to this lady by taking this coat, but here I was treating this beautiful coat like trash.
In the final minutes I put the coat on, and to my surprise, it fit perfectly! Coats never fit me right! (p.s. people always say they want “curves” but clothes aren’t made for “curves.” ugh). As we were walking away I heard the lady say, “It fits her perfectly. Oh my, it looks so good on her.”
I gave her something more than blankets, food, or even comfort. I reached the human side of her. I was so unwilling to take from someone who had so little. When that freeze hit I’d be asleep in my heated house, and she wouldn’t.
While this is all speculation, this is how I interpret the situation. At the end of the day she needed to not feel helpless. She GAVE me something; she helped someone. I guess I can’t explain it, but I knew at that moment that taking that coat meant more to her than anything I brought her.
How little a coat means to me and how much it meant to her.