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gettin' 'hit up'...

Saturday, April 22, 2017
... by people for donations. I feel like I am usually pretty wary and cautious when approached by people you might consider 'panhandlers'. Not tempted by the guys on the street corner with the hand printed signs on scraps of corrugated cardboard. Not pulling my wallet out to dole out my hard-earned cash. Not usually receptive to folks when they approach me expressing a need for food, gas, enough money 'to buy milk for my baby', etc. But on two occasions in the past few days I have been a very 'easy touch.'

When I stopped for gas at a station about half way between home and Valdosta last Wednesday, a man drove up as I was pumping, asked for help to buy gas. There was some sad tale about a family member in Atlanta, and a desperate need to travel, so I pulled out five dollars and handed it over. In retrospect I should have offered to go in the store and pay for five bucks worth, as I doubt my money went for gas. Plus he was driving such a gas hog, old model sedan, my small donation would hardly get him to the next gas station.  Sucker? Yes.

Today, a customer, someone who I see occasionally in the store said he needed something to eat. He often will hit up a co-worker for enough to tide him over, pay utility bill, a fast food meal. So I pulled out another five dollars and handed it over to Jerry. Most people who see him, would, after a glance, give him a wide berth. I know the man is 'not right', so I do make an effort to be civil, smile, greet him with kind words. I suspect he probably does not get a lot of kindness or compassion in his life.

The events of this week, along with the story from last week about the young girl walking down the street, obviously on the lam, make me seem like a real sap. But here's the thing: I am so thankful for so many blessings, aware of such small mundane things that other people lack, I believe I am obligated to step into those gaps where opportunity presents itself. Not one to put much stock in coincidence, I think we are put in places to do what we can for the people who cross our paths.

A cousin in SC is moving, and asked for help. I am working every day for the forseeable future and could not jump in with assistance. But my sweet, generous, smart, capable daughter also got that same request and was in a place where she could donate her day to packing, hauling, boxing, lugging things around. I am so thankful that she could, and would and did.  Making herself available. Devoting a day when she could have been lying in the hammock in the back yard reading and napping to being useful.

Nothing is Random. If you think things happen at random, you are looking at life from the wrong perspective. 

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