It’s not often that a trip to the grocery store pierces my heart.
I was happily pushing a cart around the store and tossing in goodies… blackberries, broccoli, lamb chops, apples, coffee, wine. I noticed that there was a good cross-section of customers. College students with hand baskets being very judicious with their selections. Senior citizens plodding along. Couples discussing the merits of one item over another. And more than a fair share of moms loading up carts to try and forestall the inevitable, “There’s nothing to eat in this house!”
And into this mix shuffled a homeless man. He was bundled up, dirty and shabby and when he got closer to me, it broke my heart to see his coat was kept closed with two binder clips. I went down a few more aisles and then I saw him again picking up two six-packs of Hansen’s soda and the thought ran through my mind, “Offer to pay for those.”
So I went up to him and said, “Sir, can I pay for those for you?”
He looked surprised but said, “Well, thank you. That would be nice.” He put them in my cart and we arranged to meet outside the store in a few minutes when I was done with my shopping.
Outside I gave him his soda, he thanked me again and I went on my way.
Now at this point you might be thinking I should be feeling pretty good. I had done something nice for someone less fortunate and on Ash Wednesday no less. But NO. I actually feel rather sad (should I have done more?) and guilty (about the ease of my life) and overall, disturbed. But I know “disturbed” can be a good thing. It can be just the thing to crack open complacency and bring about new life. So, I’m just going to let myself be disturbed about the homeless man held together with binder clips and see what happens.
Here’s a Sir Francis Drake poem I quoted on a previous post that’s worth sharing again:
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.
Anything “disturbing” happening in your life??