21 Nov

I went to get gas on my lunch break today. Pretty routine for me.

As I sat in a line of cars, I watched a man push a grocery cart from trash bin to trash bin, looking through them for cans and bottles to add to his collection. The attendant brought out a few cans that he had in his station to give to the man.

I watched the man as he walked away, intently pushing his cart onward to the next trash bin across the parking lot. I pulled up, pumped my gas, and started to drive off.

I remembered that I had four bags of bottles and cans in the back of my car that I had been meaning to return.

I drove around the parking lot and found a spot, parked my car, and grabbed the bags. As I headed over to the man, I noticed that he was an older gentleman, with a multitude of grey hair, weathered skin, and a tired but intent expression.

I said, “May I offer you these?”

He replied: “Thank you very much. I hate to have to do this, but it’s how I am able to eat. I am grateful for people’s indifference to throw money away. Every nickel counts! ”

Onward he went.

And there I stood … humbled.

I struggle with bills, like everyone else, and often scrimp and save, and manage what I can for my family. We don’t have everything we might like, and we have sacrificed to have basic necessities, but we have always had enough. Hard as it is sometimes, I have no idea what it is like not to know where my next meal will come from. I know we have so much need in this world, but there is also a great need right here in our backyards.

I don’t typically say grace when I sit down to a meal. It’s never really been a practice of mine.

Today I did.

I have much to be grateful for.


Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “Humbled

  1. judybeauchemin

    November 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Most people wouldn’t have given that man a second thought. You were kind to have noticed him and helped him. I am sure he will think of you when he eats his hot meal today. God bless you!

  2. judybeauchemin

    November 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    By the way, some people will not give another person money, because it could be used for booze or drugs, but it is always acceptable to give them food, especially if that is what they ask money for. Of course, your bottles were well intended and he wasn’t a beggar. You still did the best thing. We are so blessed to have a warm house and food to eat.


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