Monday, December 19, 2011

500 containers of $1.80 guacamole

Tonight I had a choice. 

We all get choices.

Sometimes, we are wise.

Sometimes, we are like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. We make foolish decisions and we build our lives on sand. And the waves & wind come and beat upon our house, and as if in slow motion our world washes away with the tide.

After 12 hours of Christmas shopping, I sat down alone in Chipotle to eat my dinner. I got my bowl just the way I liked it. I got out a pen and paper and started writing and re-writing all the presents I had bought. I also felt guilty. Even though I had tried to be wise, somehow I had gone way overboard with my spending. 

Then, a man sat at the end of my long stainless table. 

He had a bag of chips and one, small $1.80 container of guacamole. I wondered if I was looking into the eyes of a homeless man. He was dirty and unshaven. His clothes looked like they hadn't been cleaned in a long time. He ate two bites and started towards the door. Immediately, I watched the girl across from me spring out of her seat. She ran towards him and called out. They talked in hushed words at the door and she brought him back into the line. 

She bought him a meal.

I looked at my list and looked at my half-eaten bowl and realized that my whole day was folly. With what I had spent that day, I could have bought that man 500 containers of $1.80 guacamole and chips. 

Another woman handed the stranger a wad of cash.

I packed my list up and shoved everything into my purse. I got some money out and approached the man too. 

We all get choices.

I handed the weathered old gentlemen some cash and told him Merry Christmas. He was polite and grateful. 

He told me thank you. 

I should have been the one thanking him. 

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2


Warren Baldwin said...

After reading about how John Ortberg carries $5 bills dedicated to giving to homeless people, my son started doing it. He said it gets tough sometimes since he is still in school, he can always find something to give someone who needs help. That has made me more conscious of those around us who have nothing, and there are a number of them. Your post is a good reminder of what Christmas is really about - giving. Good job.