Thursday, December 24, 2015

I got humility for Christmas

So on Christmas Eve I was sent to the store for a few last minute things. The store parking lot was packed with cars, and I knew the shopping experience would be crowded.

I parked my car at the edge the parking lot and made my way into the first store. When I came out, I went to drop off my purchase in my car before moving to my next stop. As I approached my car I noticed a man wandering around the vehicals.

Because the area I was parked in was near where I had seen panhandlers, and he didn't seem to be going anywhere, I assumed he was a beggar. I judged him. I figured he was looking to accost shoppers and ask for money.

I went into my avoidance pattern. I didn't look at him. I avoided eye contact. I'm sure my posture was shouting, "leave me alone." But he still spoke to me.

"How are you doing?" he asked.

"Fine." I said. Saying as little as possible. I turned my back on him and put my bag in my car and locked it. Then I turned back around.

He was closer to me now. And he was holding out his hand. "Do you know anyone that could use a little exrta this Christmas?" In his hand was a $100 dollar bill.

I said, "But...." a bit incoherently and he put the money in my hand.  Then he walked away.  I took a step after him.

He looked back before he got in his car and we made eye contact. Then he quickly got in his car and drove off. And I just stood there, more guilty than I have ever felt before.

I had judged a fellow man in a glance. I had deemed him unworthy of even a polite greeting. I had given him my cold shoulder. And I had been rude in my response to his salutation.

I'm ashamed of my behavior.

He was none of the things I had judged him to be. But even if he had been, that wouldn't have excused my actions toward him. The poverty of my heart was greater than I knew.

This is my confession. And my commitment to do better.

Because I know that I can do better.

I know that I should do better.

And I will do better.

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