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