Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Years Eve Reflection

There is of course more than one meaning to the word, however in this case I refer to reflection as contemplation: a calm, lengthy, intent consideration.



I live in a pretty small town. Most people either know you personally or have at least seen you around and know who you are. There has been a new face appearing in the store in which I work, over the last couple of weeks. Where she came from or who she is I have no idea. I do know that the store manager follows her around when she comes in and watches her. I've also been told that if we see her in the store we are supposed to let the manager know. Apparently, they suspect that she has been shoplifting.

Last week I had put some bakery samples on the counter for customers to try. I saw the new face walk by the counter. She spotted the "try me" sign and timidly walked up and took a sample then walked away. Several minutes later she was back. She looked as though she was trying not to be noticed. She pretended to look at something on the shelf and when she thought no one was looking she grabbed another sample and walked away. She returned one last time and did the same thing.

I found out later that day that she was homeless. Her actions made perfect sense to me then. She was most likely just hungry but afraid that if someone saw her taking more than one sample they would possibly kicked her out of the store.

I saw her in the store again yesterday. We have self serve soup pots and she was ladeling up a cup. Another woman walked up to her and I watched as she handed the homeless woman several quarters. At first my reactions to this woman were more on the negative side. I'm sure that most of you can relate to that in some way.

She was on the other side of the counter and she looked as though she was looking for something so I went over and asked if there was something I could help her with. It was then that I saw the sweetest smile on her face as she asked me if we had any salt. It was in that moment that I realized that she was no different than I am other than the fact that she has no home to go to tonight.

When I was leaving work I saw her sitting on the widow ledge at the front of the store eating her soup. Again I saw that smile on her face as she ate and watched other people come and go. I'm guessing that she was just happy to be warm and fed for the moment.

Because of this woman, tonight as I bid a farewell to the 2009 and welcome in the New Year I will take a moment to thank God for the life he has given me. In 2010 I will make ever effort to appreciate each new day and live it to the fullest.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year

27 comments:

Miawa said...

There are so many out there Annie and as this New Year blasts in, there will be many more. I'm so glad she touched your heart. You have read a similar story on my blog and how it touched me. Angels aren't in white with wings they are simply God's messengers and I think He sent you a message at a time when you needed it. Smile and feel the love!

Poetic Shutterbug said...

What a beautiful story Ann. I think we can all at some point relate and it touches my heart to read stories such as these. Thank you so much for sharing this today. Have a blessed New Year.

vickie said...

It was heartwarming to read that you noticed her sweet smile. Your kindness spoke volumes to her, I'm sure. TFS

tahtimbo said...

Thank you for sharing that wonderful story. It does make me stop for the moment and think about my life. Yes we have some very pressing problems, but God has blessed us with a place to live and His promise of help. You can be sure that I will say a prayer for that lady.
I hope you all have a very Happy New Year!

junezach said...

ann!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!!! Wohoo!!! Praying all the best for us in this new year with more love, peace, good health, joy, growth in our spiritual walk with God and more success in our family and career! ;D

One Creative Queen said...

My dear friend, a great story to end the year with. Thank you for that. And as for the other - I didn't reply because...well, you know. Please know it wasn't because I haven't been thinking of you. I just love and adore you - and am with you in spirit. I hope 2010 is full of the best for you - and only the best. Great friends, lots of laughter, good health, and as much joy and love returned to you as you bring to others. I love ya and look forward to the new year! xx

gayle said...

Thank you for writing this..it really does make you think twice about the lives we have..

allotments4you.com said...

Oh Ann what a touching, heart warming and yet at the same time saddening post...I don't know if I am describing how I felt as i read very well but this sort of thing puts your life into a much clearer perspective and really makes you appreciate all that we have....I am glad that the woman was granted a warm meal and had a smile on her face as the year came to a close and I am sure that your kind words made her smile come out and made the new year to come that little brighter....God Bless you Ann

WillOaks Studio said...

A wonderful story, Ann, and a perfect reflection for me, too, as the old year ends and the new one begins...thanks so much for sharing it! And Happy New Year to YOU!!

FishHawk said...

I used to be as uncaring towards the homeless as anyone could be. For I had been led to believe that they were getting what they deserved, but then I met a man in New York City who lived out of a car under the George Washington Bridge. I met him while I was standing next to barrel that had a fire going in it. I had walked up to this barrel to ask if anyone knew when people first started getting to the place that I had brought a load of meat to. He was the only one who seemed to know what he was talking about, and after he told me that he was working two full time jobs, I asked him what he was doing living out of a car. He told me that he could not see paying $600 a month for a room without even running water--let along a bathroom, and that he was saving for the day when he could afford to move somewhere more affordable to live. Be assured that this came as a great shock to me, and since then, our Heavenly Father has made it abundantly clear to me that very few of the homeless in this country deserve to be there. Yes, there are a few who need to hit rock-bottom hard before they will start wanting their lives to change, but most are there because of circumstances that they had nothing to do with. Your kindness towards her has set a good example for us to follow.

Jen said...

It scares me [a lot] how easy it is to forget how much we actually DO have to be thankful for. We may be living paycheck to paycheck, but that means we have a paycheck. We may have a lot of things around the house that need to be fixed, but at least we have a house to live in... the list could go on and on.
For the past several years my daughter and I have worked hard to develop a more thankful prayer life; it is very helpful in keeping our perspective by reminding us daily how blessed we really are (even though it may not always feel that way :o) Between the cancer and the Dermatomyositis (a muscle disease) I have learned an awful lot about putting my focus on maintaining that "attitude of gratitude".
Life is hard some of the time, but God is good ALL of the time :o)

Audrey said...

I wish for you an awesome and productive 2010!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Duni said...

A beautiful post.

May you and your family have a peaceful, healthy and joyous new year.
I'm a very appreciative person. I take great pleasure in the smallest things...things other people sometimes don't even notice.
I think it's important not to take everything for granted.

best wishes,

Duni

Sheri said...

You said so much in this post. I think we all have so much more to be thankful for than we know. I for one am looking forward to 2010 because I know of many fun things that are going to happen.

aldon @ orient lodge said...

That is a wonderful blog post. Thank you very much. I hope you have a wonderful New Year.

Daisy said...

Your story brought tears to my eyes; thanks for sharing.

Happy New Year to you!

Grace said...

Lovely...

Buggys said...

A perfect story to end this year and cause us to reflect on the things we are indeed grateful for and those we would like to redirect. A very Happy New Year!

Sandee said...

We have tons of homeless here. They beg, steal and trash peoples property. They take over parks and the kids can't play there anymore. There are hundreds upon hundreds. Most are either drunks or drug users and in some cases both. We seem to come from two different worlds. I am indeed grateful for all the things I have too.

Happy New Year. :)

Anna said...

What a beautiful post.

I had been planning to write a longer post today. Seemed like a good time to do it, before the business of everyday cares takes hold of our lives. Then I read this note on a cat website about a cat-shelter that burned down to the ground, here in Sweden. So I'm trying to spread the word to people in the area where this fire occured, to help out by donating money and/or cat food etc., for the surviving cats. This happened today, January first.

But, as you have described in this eloquent post, there are people who, for various reasons, do not live much better that feral cats.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Maybe I'll get my post up tomorrow or the next day.

Hugs
Anna

VanillaSeven said...

That's a touching story Ann. Wish you a better year this 2010 :) Happy New Year!

Kloggers/Polly said...

Hi Ann - Your tale of a homeless lady is so very sad. The plight of the homeless has never really been tackled by wealthy countries such as ours.

In Britain - someone requires to have an address before they can go for a job interview. Yet if you have no home how are you able to acquire one if you have no money? The spiral of homeless, jobless people is something that fully needs addressing.

Although those who have somewhere to live usually think they would never be in those circumstances it is still really - there but for the grace of God, go I. This really applies to everything - all people in a civilized society should have what is necessary to live a reasonable life: the list is simple - a roof over their heads, health care, food, water and heat. If any of those things are missing then really we are all guilty of depriving them for we should all insist that every member of our society has these essentials.

I know that many would argue with me and say well who will pay? The answer is simple - we all must pay - how can we consider that we are any further forward than any other member of the animal kingdom if we think we shouldn't. Well in honesty it would cost only a penny here and there in tax.

I think if we all dig deep we would all be willing to pay an odd penny here and there and know that our country is a much better place than it was then we would all be much more content in our hearts!

Happy New Year. :)

fullet said...

Hello, Ann, it's such a moving story, and particularly approopriate after these holidays. Thank you for make me stop and think, it's something I too often forget to do.

DK Miller said...

What a nice touching post. Happy New Year to you. I hope 2010 is a wonderful year.

Ratty said...

With the way the economy has been, there will be more people like her out there soon. Hopelfully her fortune will turn for the better.

BeadedTail said...

Beautiful post Ann! Great reminder for us to not be judgmental against others. Thank you for sharing this story!

Bonehead said...

What a wonderful story! It's humbling though that it too often takes a view of another's hardships to realize how fortunate we really are - and that we sometimes forget to be thankful for the things we have.

Happy New Year to you and your family Ann!

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