As I've been doing each day of the #LIGHTtheWorld Campaign (25 ways to serve in 25 days) I find myself feeling so grateful for all I have and the people I love and love me back. I get excited each day to find out what kind of service I will be doing. Today was no exception.
Day 12: "Jesus taught others and so can you"
All throughout my day I had been thinking of some of my favorite lessons learned. I remember the day my dad helped me learn to change the oil in my car...and then said, "I hope you never have to do that." I remember this one piano teacher I had that told me there is no secret to learning hard things but there is great reward. I remember the lessons learned when my brother died and my parents turned to God with such faith. I remember the lessons I learned when one of my best friends taught me the power of silence and how to truly listen. I am so indebted for the many lessons learned by incredible teachers but my mind kept going back to lessons learned from my grandpa Gus.
It was really no surprise to people that when my grandpa died many people shared their stories of how he had given them money for this or that. He helped missionaries pay for their missions. He never had much money raising 9 kids on a Religious Teacher's salary but whatever he had he shared. Grandpa would also say, "If money is your only problem--then you don't have problems." As someone who seems to always struggle with money I am keenly reminded of what he meant when I look at my life that has been filled with so many rich blessings.
And so as I'm finishing up my night, thinking of what I'm going to post on my Instagram about day 12, I head over to Smith's to get a few things. On my way in a homeless man called me over and we had this conversation:
HM: Good evening ma'am could you spare me some change on your way out.
Me: I don't usually carry around change but would like something else?
HM: I need some garbage bags?
Me: Can I get you anything else, something to drink?
HM: (smiling up at me) I need a lot of things in my life but a Coke would be great.
Then as I'm heading inside a nicely dressed middle-aged lady pulled me aside and said, "I wouldn't give him anything if he asked for something...it will just perpetuate his situation." I stopped dead in my tracks, I am sure she had the best of intentions, but I looked her in the eyes and said, "Well, then it's a good thing he didn't ask you."
I walked inside and grabbed the few things I needed and thought about my warm car, nice house, my great job, and I got excited about getting a few things for the homeless man outside. I gave him the garbage bags, coke, chips and few other goodies and he was very grateful. I got in my car and just cried. I cried for the homeless man out in the cold. I cried for the lady who didn't understand. I cried because at that moment I deeply missed my grandpa.
The lessons I've learned have shaped the way I've lived my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.