Time to be thankful.. and pay it forward
A moment in my life…
Today was freezing in New York. The wind was brutal, and all I wanted to do the entire day was to stay home and sit by the fireplace and drink hot tea. And most of the day I did, until I had to get out to pick up kids from school.
I felt useless and that I hadn’t accomplished as much as I had wanted to (I actually did: I booked our flights to Sweden, it’s official: we have a moving date!) and was cranky for kids too, just simply because I felt bad about myself.
What was happening to me? The feelings of happiness of moving but sadness of leaving were driving me crazy, and the lack of sleep and the long moving to-do list were getting to me. And as you can read from this post – I may be really losing it.
I felt like blogging this moment in my life – and maybe you too are inspired to do a small thing – that can be a big thing.
It’s Just Coffee
Kids were starving and tired, but we stopped at the small local grocery store on the way home.
“I don’t want to go to store, can’t I just have a sandwich for dinner?”
As we were walking towards the store, we noticed two young men collecting money and giving out pamphlets.
“We are from “Transforming Men to Transform the World”, it’s a Christian organization helping men to transform their lives, we help drug addicts and others to find a better lifestyle.”
Or he said something like this, all I heard was “Christian” and that they “help people to get a new lifestyle” and yadda yadda yadda. It would have been easy to walk by and hush my kids to the store, we were all freezing outside, but then I looked at one of the young men in the eyes. I could see how sincerely he wanted to help someone, and I could believe that he in fact was doing his small or big part of transforming someone’s life, and making a difference. Maybe he was just brainwashed by a Christian cult for all I could know, but I felt his sincerity.
“How long have you been standing here in the cold today?” I asked.
“Since nine o’clock on the morning” he said.
It was four o’clock on the afternoon.
Oops, maybe “holy crap” wasn’t the right choice of the words and I’m sure I offended them and was a bad example for my kids, and yadda yadda yadda, but it slipped out of my mouth. And it really felt craptastically cold, my hands were freezing and I only walked from the warm car to the store front!
“Has anyone brought you coffee or anything else warm to drink?”
“No, but we don’t need anything, God is keeping us warm.”
As we entered the store, I could have easily brushed off that conversation of my mind, but it made me think.
How come someone can have such a strong belief that he feels warm inside even in the freezing weather?
Was it God really doing it? But if God was doing it – why in the world didn’t He control the weather a bit better today for those poor guys standing outside? What was God trying to tell them? Test their faith? Well, I think I’d say they passed it.
Then I had a thought – maybe God was trying to send me a message, maybe I should be the one taking those men hot coffee. Maybe I should do more what I know is the right thing to do, and what I deep in my heart want to do.
The kids and I talked about the men trying to help others, and how cold they must be outside, and after leaving the store, we all wanted to get them coffee. We left our car in the parking lot and walked to a close by bakery coffee shop. We could have driven, but I don’t think we would have felt the same way. I wanted to feel the cold wind on my cheeks, and on the kids’ cheeks, and I wanted us to feel the contrast of the warmth of the coffee as we carried them back to the grocery store parking lot.
As soon as we entered the parking lot and the young men saw us, my daughter had this biggest smile on her face.
She was so happy and so proud what we had just done.
It was just coffee and fresh croissants, but I hope it felt much more for the young men receiving them, because it felt much more to us.
“Thank you so much, you didn’t have to do this,” he said.
“I didn’t do it. This is how God is keeping you warm,” I said.
Tell your story – how are you helping people around you? If you have blogged about it, please leave a link!