Monday, December 3, 2012

In Hindsight

On Saturday afternoon...
After a whole morning of being lazy and staying in my PJs and dilly-dallying around the house, the afternoon literally snucked up on me! All of a sudden, I realized... we're going to be late if we don't start moving! We were due, at 5:30pm, to help serve a dinner to homeless folks at an Out of the Cold venue.

We still had groceries to buy and errands to do and dinner to eat... all to be done in two short hours! Hubby and I dashed out of the house and did our grocery shopping in record time. We rushed back home and our whole family piled into the van.

We drove downtown to an area called The Danforth where a Ten Thousand Villages store is located. I wanted to take the opportunity to drop by the store and grab a few fair-trade Christmas gifts there since it's close-ish to the Out of the Cold venue where we were headed.

When I finished my shopping... my next mission was... find a place to eat dinner! We exited the Ten Thousand Villages store and there she was... hubby pointed her out to me... a homeless girl camped out by the sidewalk near the store's entrance begging for food.

I glanced at my watch... 5:15pm... and I said to myself, "No time to help this homeless girl. We have to eat dinner and get to the Out of the Cold venue, all in 15 minutes!"

As it stands... we're going to be late already... no time to waste! So, we passed her by... and headed to a restaurant where we scarfed down our dinner, in record time! My son didn't even get to finish his dinner when I announced, "It's time to go!", while simultaneously packing his rice-and-chicken-teriyaki-dinner into a take-out container so that he could eat it later, if he's still hungry.

I was herding my family along... take-out container in hand, very impatiently... the whole time ranting about how we're going to be late... it's now 5:40pm... we are late! I was literally running back to where our van is parked... my family trailing along behind me.

And, I saw her again... still seated at that very same spot. I had no intention of stopping. Honestly, I didn't. 

Just when I passed her... I heard her say, "Any leftovers?"

I literally did an about-face... I wasn't even conscious of the take-out container full of food that I held in my hands... I looked at her and realized that she was looking at the take-out container I had... at that very moment, I got jolted out of my zone... and into the moment, I quickly handed her the food... and was again, hurriedly on my way.

Then I heard her say, "God bless you!"
My response? "But there's no fork in there!" To which she replied, "Oh, that's okay... thank you!"

We were finally on our way to the Out of the Cold venue... then it struck me... "God bless you!" Are you kidding me? God bless me? For ignoring a homeless girl? For passing her by? For not intending to help her because I was in a hurry? For shoving leftovers in her hands? Seriously?!?

The irony of the moment hit me, it hit me hard... we were literally going to pass her by without helping because we were rushing to serve at a dinner for homeless folks. Why? Because the 110 homeless folks at Out of the Cold are more worthy of our time than that one homeless girl on the street?

Didn't the shepherd leave the ninety-nine to go find the one lost sheepIn hindsight... what we should have done is invite her to come with us... to enjoy this:

As I dished out rice noodles on plate after plate after plate at the Out of the Cold dinner... she kept coming back to mind. I prayed that the meager leftover rice-and-chicken-teriyaki would at least curb her hunger and asked God to forgive me for being selfish, for not stopping... for not taking the time to buy her a proper dinner, for not caring for the least of these.

After Out of the Cold, we drove back to The Danforth to look for her. She wasn't there anymore...
Let us consider a biblical philosophy of wealth... when God bestows the world's riches on any person, he is giving such people a ministry of helps. He wants them to use their largesse to lift up the fallen, to alleviate the burdens of the downtrodden. There is no choice; God expects us to share with the needy, and the more we have, the more we must share.
~ Grant R. Osborne, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.
There is no choice... God expects us to share with the needy... 

As I continue to count grace-gifts, with unending thanks... to The One who is faithful even when I am not... these are the things I am thankful for this week... #1667 - #1678:
:: For grace that pardons and cleanses.
:: His faithfulness... especially in times when I am not.
:: Our family checking out the ministry of Ephraim's Place and exploring ways we can help.
:: Some organizational reshuffling at work... and trusting God to clearly show me the way.
:: His sustaining grace on a tough week.
:: Countdown to Tournament Day for my son's Robotics Team which hubby and I coach. Getting excited!
:: Fun Friday night taking family Christmas photos in our basement!
:: That God would see fit to partner with us... even when we miss the mark.
:: An amazing boss, who has been so good to me all these years! She is a gift!
:: A great conversation with her... very encouraging, her support means a lot.
:: Awesome church leadership team meeting. God truly is faithful.
:: A new week, a new beginning. His mercies, new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.
Happy Monday, friends!
Looking forward to living out this quote this week... with God's help...
And at the last, this is what will determine a fulfilling, meaningful life, a life that, behind all the facades, every one of us longs to live: gratitude for the blessings that expresses itself by becoming the blessing.
~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.
Let's soar into this new week together, friends... let's do justice, love mercy and walk humbly!

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Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!


  1. God blesses as we bless others. Well done, sister! Thank you for being willing- for bearing His burden for the world. He delights in that! Praying for you as you step out!

  2. oh wow.... blew me away. I am sitting here in the dark.. everyone asleep. I literally covered my face and cried. Last year something like that happened to Lysa and I. It really spoke to us. Praying for you. Hugs

    1. Thanks for your note, Teena! You're always such an encouragement to me.

  3. Bless you Aimee! This story is SO encouraging to me, you have no idea! It's nice to know that (even) you're not totally organized at all times, etc. Cuz most times, I feel like we're just muddling through it all. -YvonneS

    1. Thanks for your note, Yvonne! Glad to be an encouragement... :-)