Thursday, December 24, 2015
I got humility for Christmas
So on Christmas Eve I was sent to the store for a few last minute things. The store parking lot was packed with cars, and I knew the shopping experience would be crowded.
I parked my car at the edge the parking lot and made my way into the first store. When I came out, I went to drop off my purchase in my car before moving to my next stop. As I approached my car I noticed a man wandering around the vehicals.
Because the area I was parked in was near where I had seen panhandlers, and he didn't seem to be going anywhere, I assumed he was a beggar. I judged him. I figured he was looking to accost shoppers and ask for money.
I went into my avoidance pattern. I didn't look at him. I avoided eye contact. I'm sure my posture was shouting, "leave me alone." But he still spoke to me.
"How are you doing?" he asked.
"Fine." I said. Saying as little as possible. I turned my back on him and put my bag in my car and locked it. Then I turned back around.
He was closer to me now. And he was holding out his hand. "Do you know anyone that could use a little exrta this Christmas?" In his hand was a $100 dollar bill.
I said, "But...." a bit incoherently and he put the money in my hand. Then he walked away. I took a step after him.
He looked back before he got in his car and we made eye contact. Then he quickly got in his car and drove off. And I just stood there, more guilty than I have ever felt before.
I had judged a fellow man in a glance. I had deemed him unworthy of even a polite greeting. I had given him my cold shoulder. And I had been rude in my response to his salutation.
I'm ashamed of my behavior.
He was none of the things I had judged him to be. But even if he had been, that wouldn't have excused my actions toward him. The poverty of my heart was greater than I knew.
This is my confession. And my commitment to do better.
Because I know that I can do better.
I know that I should do better.
And I will do better.