How does one take the mundane out of just another day? NO… it’s not winning the lottery. It is a process I call salt and pepper…a dash of goodness and a sprinkle of generosity added to any day, any time.
Let me explain!
A work day, a toothless man, and an opportunity.
Saying good bye to a friend, I opened the door of our store and stepped out. Inhaling the crisp spring air felt cleansing after the lingering smell of gas fumes, oil and sweaty men. (I work in a small engine shop.)
We chatted for a few quick moments and were hugging good-bye when a scruffy, somewhat ragged native Indian approached us.
“Say ladies,” he interrupted. “Don’t mean to be rude, but could you spare some change?” His eyes shifted nervously to the pavement and back to us, like he was used to receiving a good tongue-lashing. When we didn’t immediately tell him to take a hike, he inched closer in anticipation. His right eye sported the remnants of a recent fight and his clothing emanated the smell of alcohol and a ripe odor from one too many days of wear.
“Are you hungry?” I asked.
The one eye that wasn’t swollen brightened considerably and a grin split across his face.“Sure am,” he said revealing a set of uneven teeth with a few missing. It was a genuine smile, the kind so few people give these days.
“Well I stated firmly, I'll buy you lunch, but will not give you money. Hang on a moment and I’ll be right there.
My friend gathered some money from her car to add to his lunch fund and went on her way. I hurried inside to grab my purse.
He waited patiently outside our store until I returned.
We walked across the street to a nearby deli, and I heard bits and pieces of his life. Chatty and friendly, I found myself intrigued by his story. In a short time I learned he had hitch-hiked across Canada in the middle of the winter, the cold being his greatest enemy; he was born in Winnipeg, and on his way to anywhere warmer. No home. No friends. No ties. A drifter. A wanderer. A hungry, lonely soul.
Inside the deli he quieted considerably his eyes devoured the food. One could not miss the obvious fact he was starving. I got weird looks from other customers waiting to order as they inched away from us, but I didn’t care.
He grasped the food tightly as the hot sandwich and drink was handed to him, but then promptly remembered his manners. Setting the food back down on the counter, he whispered the most heartfelt thank you I have heard in years.
When I told him to remember that Jesus loves him, he smiled from ear to ear. “I knew you were one of them Jesus lovers,” he said… “Cause there is a kindness about you.”
He held out his hand tentatively, and smiled widely when I responded. “My name is Tom, he said, shaking my hand firmly.
I choked back a tear, and told him my name.
“Blossom… I will not forget you or your pretty name.”
“Enjoy,” I said pointing to his meal.
“Oh yeah I will, you have no idea how hungry I am… but I better eat outside, don’t want to upset anyone.”
I had lost all thought of what others were thinking, but realized as I looked around we had stirred up some real curiosity.
“Ahhh don’t you worry Tom”, I said, “you sit inside and enjoy the warmth. After all your lunch is paid for just like everyone else in here.”
The clerk behind the counter kindly nodded in agreement.
Tom settled in… with a sandwich, a juice and a smile worth millions.
This is how you take the mundane and infuse the day with purpose. Now tell me your story and I will print it on my blog and send you a gift in thank you.
Let’s change the world, one kindness at a time!