Greedy squirrels and a homeless man’s prayer
How’s that for random? Welcome to my world. One minute I’m getting bit by a two year old so hard it breaks my skin through a thick sweatshirt and tears instantly stream down my face from the pain and surprise. The next I’m laying in bed with Caleb and he whispers a quiet prayer after mine-I ask what exactly he prayed not having been able to quite hear it. He says, louder-for me to hear: “I prayed for you to understand me. Sometimes you don’t understand me.” I am still processing the incredible truth of his words.
Earlier today we went outside to bring some applesauce to our neighbor, they gifted us with an enormous bag of fresh walnuts two days ago. They had just been picked in Eastern Washington. He warned me to keep them outside and to burn the shells since he’d found black widow eggs in the shells many times before. I was sure to do that and waited for time to crack the nuts with my left, not disabled hand. I noticed this morning a couple were missing, I saw a squirrel with a whole walnut in his mouth. I thought how nice that we could share our nuts with them, they did after all have the difficult task of storing up food for winter right?
They must have told all their friends about our walnuts. In no time at all, they had removed every last walnut from our sack. I was shocked how it went from a couple missing to none left, there were over a hundred huge, whole walnuts to begin with. Greedy little buggers!
For a myriad of reasons, I ventured to the doctor this morning, the naturopathic physician to discuss kid issues, my hand, and a half a dozen other things. On my way there I was stopped on the exit ramp at a red light. The same homeless guy who is almost always standing there was leaning on a pole next to my car. His sign read “Homeless and hungry. Please Help. Need Mech job”. I rarely have much cash but vowed to pull my one dollar bills out and give them to him. I rolled my window down, handed him the money and said “God bless you” like I always do. Then I roll the window up.
Only today I didn’t roll it up.
Me: “My husband is looking for a job too. It’s hard times for a lot of people isn’t it?”
Homeless guy (walking close to my car to talk): “Oh yes, it sure is. People think I get rich standing out here. I used to make twenty, thirty bucks a day. Enough to do my laundry, get some food, take the bus (to and from the shelter downtown). Just yesterday I stood out here over 5 hours, didn’t get a single penny.”
Me: “That must have been really hard.” (Now thinking that my current uncertainty is really nothing in comparison to the lifestyle that is staring me in the face-literally)
Homeless guy: “Yeah, I mean I know people need to eat and all and do what’s best for their family but man it’s hard.”
Me (at a loss for words, I bet it’s hard, really, I have no idea how hard it is to sleep in a shelter and hope for enough spare change to get some cheap food at McDonald’s): “I hope today is a better day.”
Homeless guy: “Me too. What’s your husband’s first name?”
Me (looking puzzled)
Homeless guy: “What’s his first name? So I can say a prayer for him to find a job.”
Me (humbled beyond my imagination): “Chris. His name is Chris. What’s your name, I’ll do the same for you.”
Homeless guy: “Scott, thank you. Bless you.”
Me? No, bless you. I may think a lot is at stake in my life. I may feel afraid (I do, every day), of what’s to come. I may wonder where we might live if things don’t work out the way I want them to. But really, seriously-my parents, my sisters, my friends would help us with food or a place to stay or anything else we TRULY needed. We actually will be just fine, whatever that might look like. We will be together and we will be thankful.
We are accustomed to such over abundance in this culture, in this country. So much is unnecessary. This morning’s divine encounter with a man named Scott was an incredible reminder for me of what matters.
Food, clothes, transportation and shelter.
That’s about it.
Pretty simple isn’t it?