Don’t We All?

One
evening I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just
come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work.
Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would
consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean
clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous but there
are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered. This was one
of the “Don’t want to be bothered” times.

“I
hope he doesn’t ask me for money,” I thought. He didn’t. He came and
sat on the curb in front of the bus stop and he didn’t look like he
could have enough money to even ride the bus. After a few minutes he
spoke. “That’s a very nice car,” he said. He was ragged but had an air
of dignity around him.

I said, “Thanks,” and continued wiping off my car.

He
sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came.
As the silence between us widened something inside said, ‘ask him if he
needs any help.’ I was sure that he would say yes, but I held true to
the inner voice.

“Do you need any help?” I
asked. He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall
never forget. We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We
expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments. I expected
nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke three words that shook
me.

“Don’t we all?” he said.

I
needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed
help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare
but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day. Those three
little words still ring true. No matter how much you have, no matter
how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little
you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without
money or a place to sleep, you can give help. Even if it’s just a
compliment, you can give that.

You never
know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are
waiting on you to give them what they don’t have. A different
perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from
daily chaos, that only you through a torn world can see. Maybe the man
was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more
than that. Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise to
minister to a soul too comfortable in themselves.

Maybe
God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a bum, then said,
“Go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs help.”

“Don’t We All?”


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