|Lake Alpine, CA|
We live in a very generous and warm hearted community. People give of their time; they open up their pocketbooks and give their money. We really have to. We are a small rural community and without getting into it, we just give. Living here, growing older, and learning more about the world has helped to alter how I feel about someone who is on the street asking for help. I didn't always want to offer help. Now I see things differently.
As I drove home this afternoon from my day hiking at Lake Alpine, I passed through San Andreas and saw a man in front of the grocery street with a sign. The sign read, "Can you help?" He was in a wheelchair and sitting in the full sun; the temperature was at least 95 degrees outside. I had the opportunity to stop and didn't. I then had the opportunity to turn around and didn't. I drove off thinking I had missed something. The least I could do is go back and get him some water. There are places in town to get a meal too and I could tell him about that. By the time I got back, there was another man handing the man asking for a help a grocery bag. I could see that it was something to eat and drink. This made me feel much better somehow and I drove home.
Though I missed giving directly to this individual, I feel like today I myself was given something. Witnessing God's hand at work through the generosity of the man that bought the groceries is part of the circle of helping one another. Give, receive, benefit, give, receive, benefit. I just never saw it this way until today. It helped me personally to see this generosity in action and I feel as if I was given a special gift. There are many ways to help and to be involved with what is happening around you. Just being aware of what is happening is part of this circle of giving. I hope to be quicker next time (I am sure that there will be a next time too) but until then, I will think about my unexpected gift.