A few weeks back, I was out running errands and had to stop at one of my favorite grocery stores (Harris Teeter) to get the items for dinner. Prior to going there, I stopped at the Dollar Tree to get some tootsie rolls.
As I pulled up at the Teeter, I spotted a female all bundled up (due to the cold) with bags and some luggage beside her. I immediately thought to myself, when I get in the store I'll grab her some food and something to drink. Unfortunately, once parked and shopping was done, I loaded my things in the car. Yet did not think anymore about this young lady until I started my car to leave the parking lot.
At the time, I parked my vehicle closer to her, got out with the tootsie roll bag in my pocket and asked her would she like to go to a shelter. She barely looked up at me. I could tell that she was cold, approachable, about my age and was busy into her reading. Her instant response to me was "no, I don't want to go to no shelter." For the life of me, I could not understand why this lady would rather be in this cold and outside with all her belongings than a SHELTER?! However, I quickly reminded myself not to judge.. not to judge her decision. Therefore, we talked and I asked her if she'd like a tootsie roll. Her response, tootsie roll... that's all you got?! She was not rude, she was actually laughing. She said, out of all the things, a tootsie roll, that is such a old school candy. Then she and I both began to laugh. Soon after, she shared... her need is financial... which I am sure many of us could attest to that! She also shared that her faith will not allow her the desire to go to a shelter. She continues, going to a shelter would be giving up faith on God. In return, I just listened. In closing of our conversation, she says thank you for giving her that laugh and that she needed that! Speaking on how I reminded her of her grandmother years ago with her "church candy."
Needless to say, she was not interested in the candy or going to a shelter for that matter. Yet, the mouth WIDE open laugh and short chat meant the world to her.
Sharing this to say, laughter is healing. And it's important to show kindness without judgment. In the world we live in, poverty is something that is swept under the rug way too much. Although I could not change her mind on going to a shelter. I walked away knowing I tried.
What was your most recent act of kindness?
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