As I came out of the store, a young woman asked me if she could wash my car windows for change. I said 'not today' to her and 'how annoying' inside my head. She said 'thanks anyway and God bless'. She walked around the corner and waited for the next car. I thought to myself, "self are you working for points in the jerk of the year contest?", got out of the car and handed her a few bucks. She smiled and said "God bless you" again.
Now the cosmic tap on the shoulder. For two days I've been trying to give people I know the food in my pantry so it does not go to waste. As I watched her wash windows I realized that giving it to those folks would have been waste. Note to self: "Stop feeling annoyed with everything and take a second to make a small difference". So once again I hop out of my car and ask her if she would like some groceries. Her eyes instantly filled with tears and she nodded yes. I told I would be back in just a bit. When I got back she was inhaling an egg roll probably from the earlier exchange. She is too thin. She told me "my mom and me have to decide every day which one is going to eat - today was her day". I asked if she could get help getting this stuff home and she said yes. I gave her the box and bags of food. She started to say "God..." and I stopped her. She reminded me not to judge, but to see, listen, and remember. That is a grace - to remember to see the divine in another being. There is a world of pain out there - far worse than fixing the dang shipping container. She reminded me to be human. Reminded me to find the divine in each person. As I drove off, I could hear her on the phone with her Mom "tell the kids we can eat tonight - we have food." Thank you little lady - you made my day!
I am reminded of something someone once told me, "There is always some kind of an answer, the only uncertainty is - can we be quiet enough to hear it?" These are difficult times for people. The Central Valley has been economically devastated in many sectors. Many people who thought they would never be homeless - are! Many people are running out of food and shelter. Do some engage in unhealthy behaviors, of course, some do. Hunger is hunger , regardless of how you got there. I'm going to listen to the quiet - to find my own small way to ease suffering beyond my duties as a nurse. I am blessed to have chosen a profession that has not been hurt in this economy - yet. I also know hunger and homelessness can be one pay check away for any of us.