Monday, January 08, 2007

Don't We All?

Source: Unknown; Author : Unknown

I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work. Coming my way from across the parking lot was what the society would consider a BUM. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes and no money. There are times when you feel generous and there are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered. This was one of those ‘don’t want to be bothered times’. ‘I hope he doesn’t ask for any money’, I thought. He didn’t. He came and laid down on the old bench in front of the bus stop and closed his eyes, but he did not look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus.

After a few minutes he opened his eyes looked at me and said. "That’s a very pretty car", he said. He was ragged but had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly blonde beard kept more than his face warm. I said, "Thanks" and continued wiping off my car. He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened something inside me said ‘Ask him if he needs any help’. I was sure that he would say ‘Yes’ but I held true to the inner voice. ‘Do you need any help?’, I asked. He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget.

We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments. I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. Instead, he spoke the three words that shook me down to my roots. "Don’t we all?", he asked. I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bum in the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge shot gun. DON'T WE ALL? I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed help. I reached for my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare but enough to get a warm meal, and a shelter for the day.

Those three little words still ring true. No matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help. Even if it is just a compliment, you can give that. You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are waiting on you to give them what they don’t have. A different perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from the daily chaos, that only you through a torn world can see. Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more than that! Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise, to minister to a soul too comfortable in himself. Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him up like a bum, then said, "Go minister to that man cleaning the car. That man needs help !!"

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