Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Breakfast at McDonald's

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.
Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.' The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.

I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally. Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved. As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling'. His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of
God's Light as he searched for acceptance.

He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.
The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.
I held my tears as I stood there with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.

He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm). Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.

That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.
He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you.'
I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.'
I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope..' We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.

We are not church goers, but we are believers.
That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.
I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.
I turned in 'my project' and the instructor read it.
Then she looked up at me and said, 'Can I share this?'
I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.
She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son, the instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.
I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:


Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Getting older

I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? 

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I  will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful.  But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.  

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken.  How can your heart not break when you lose a  loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car?  But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion.  A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.  So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.  

As you  get  older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think.  I don't question myself anymore.  I've even earned the right to be wrong. 

So, I like being old. It has set me  free.  I like the person I have become.  I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.  And I  shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Law Of The Garbage Truck

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So...
Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.
Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

Have a blessed, garbage-free day!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Are You Going to Finish Strong?

A nice message to share with everybody...