Re: More Lessons on Wealth Everyday...
Thank you for sharing your experience. It brought to mind something that happened to me once upon a time that helped to deepen my appreciation for my abundant portion in life.
A few years ago, we were preparing to move to a new home that we had custom built...just outside of the city limits. I was feeling on top of the world.
Wanting to pack less 'stuff', I was hauling a lot of it out to the edge of the driveway where the garbage collectors would pick it up the following day. (Those were the days before ebay!) ;)
While taking a coffee break, I happened to gaze out the window in my kitchen and saw a young couple and their almost-ancient-totally-rusted- out-pick-up truck parked on the curb...near my pile of garbage.
We lived in a semi-upscale part of town so it was unusual to see people in tattered clothes and old rusty vehicles stopped in our neighborhood. And picking through garbage cans!
Mixed in with the other stuff I was discarding, I had cleaned out our fridge and a leftover box of Kentucky Fried Chicken (just a couple of skimpy pieces or so) was sticking out of one of the garbage containers.
But the fried chicken scraps had been in the garbage can for over 24 hours at that point and weren't fit for human consumption. Ugggg....
When I noticed them pulling that from the garbage, I ran outside and approached them. They were very soft spoken and polite...said they were looking for old toys for their baby and they motioned to a infant cradled in a blanket, lying on the seat inside the old rusty truck.
But, something in my heart told me that wasn't the truth. They were hungry and willing to pick scraps out of the garbage to satisfy their needs.
They appeared to me to be malnourished by the appearance of their way-too-thin bodies.
I was actually sickened when I realized that they were really going to eat food that had been in my garbage.
At that moment, my thoughts turned to the abundance of our own bounty of food...just a few feet away from that curb. I told them to wait while I went back inside and looked at the hundreds of toys that my boys had stuffed into chests and closets and found a few that were suitable for a very young child.
Then I went to the kitchen with a huge canvas bag and filled it with the contents of our pantry. Tuna, salmon, soup, even Spam! Anything they could open and eat without cooking. I put a few toys on top before I pulled the draw string.
Then, with all my might, I pulled the large bag out the door and down to the street where the couple were waiting as I had asked them to.
There wasn't really any mention made of all the food...just said that we were moving soon and I wanted to share my surplus of items with them.
The look of sincere gratitude in their eyes said it all.
They thanked me, asked God to bless me... and drove away.
But that day remains alive in my memory as if it were only yesterday. It really led me to ponder what it would be like to be hungry...really hungry. And how the hunger pains would feel if I weren't able to go to the kitchen and satisfy that hunger. If I had to go to sleep with that discomfort.
That was a life changing day for me.
Yes, there are food banks, but often times they don't have a lot of food to give out...except for the holiday periods when people feel more generous in the spirit of the season... and contribute to those sources.
But people need to eat everyday!
I have always believed that there are no accidents in life and that everything happens for a reason.
Since that day, I have felt differently about hunger in the world...and right here in this prosperous nation of the United States, there are children who go to bed at night without any food.
There are many celebrities, Garth Brooks and Melanie Griffith for two, who endorse one organization that has also become near and dear to my heart ~ Feed The Children.
And, of course there are many others as well.
Everyone needs to eat. But children who don't get the proper nutrients won't develop normally and won't have a chance to un-do the damage done to their health and structure at a young age when they are denied essential nutrients.
The message that was left in my heart that day that the strangers came calling, was to increase my awareness of how blessed our family has been in that we've never gone to bed hungry and we know that food will be waiting for us...to satisfy our appetites... in our warm and cozy kitchen every morning. And to share out of our own abundance with a heart felt gratitude.
The holidays are coming and many generous people will help to insure that the food banks are full. And, other programs always kick in around the holidays to make the season a little merrier for the down and out.
I don't know why the strangers digging through my garbage weren't working. I only saw their 'need' at that moment...and I felt immediately led to follow my instincts to help them - all I could -...no matter what the circumstances that brought them to 'my door'.
Hopefully, the work of my heart, soul and hands... my various creative products that I offer, will help me to continue my efforts to be of charitable service to as many others as possible. In giving, with a cheerful heart and without feeling obligated, I believe that it really is me who will be the most blessed of all. It just seems to work that way when you give from your heart.
Yes, I do have a wish list of my own wants and needs. But life has a way of showing you, through an unexpected experience, just how wealthy and full and abundant your own life really is... especially when crossing paths with the less fortunate.
My personal wish list isn't as important in the overall scheme of things when viewing life through different eyes.
We are entering the season of more compassion. That warms my heart. But it shouldn't end in January.
> Thank YOU, Dien, for being so abundantly
> kind and supportive. I had quite a lesson
> today, and wondered if others can follow
> along and SEE the bounty in it, the lesson
> in it, and perhaps see where they can create
> shifts in their thinking as well in the
> This morning, my three year old Emma and I
> went to Burger King to play at their indoor
> playground because we had some time to spare
> before Bible Study. Wednesdays are our day
> without work, and she loves
> "school" and I love my lessons and
> interaction with some pretty deep thinking
> women who come to the study.
> Although it was broad daylight, for some
> reason I left the lights on in my car. As Em
> and I were inside, I was sort of smugly
> thinking how I had changed some pretty bleak
> financial situations around for my
> family...that it felt SO good to be "in
> control" of everything.....kind of
> arrogant actually...
> I went out to start my car and YOU GUESSED
> IT, my battery had become worthless.
> Thinking, how can I solve this, I decided
> when my Ford Cortina would not start 20
> years ago, I would jump start it. So I
> pushed my car up and then jumped in and
> rolled down the hill....but there was not