One Christmas morning several years ago I woke feeling something was missing. It just didn’t seem like Christmas. After breakfast I took a little time for myself before beginning preparations for dinner. I had a few slices of dry bread and decided to take them to the park to give the birds and ducks a holiday treat. It was a very cold and clear morning.
As I began tossing out the breadcrumbs I noticed a young man sitting on a park bench. My immediate reaction was that he was homeless and probably cold and hungry. I continued to feed the birds. As I was leaving the park I couldn’t stop thinking about the young man on the bench. As I started my car I made a decision to try to find some place that was open to get him something hot to drink. I began to drive down the nearly empty main street.
My mission was accomplished when I purchased cappuccino and pastry from a convenience store in the neighborhood. I noted that the total came to $2.01 and probably was not a coincidence. The biblical quote, “what you do unto the least of my brethren you do unto me” kept running through my mind.
Returning to the bench I approached the young man, who was wearing a backpack and appeared to be well kept for a homeless person. I asked if he wanted something hot to drink and he said he did. After setting my offering on the bench I wished him a merry Christmas and he returned the greeting.
A nearby church would soon be having services and I felt that he could find help there if he needed to. After all it was Christmas day!
As I was driving home I recalled reading a story about a minister who had dressed in rags and placed himself outside his church just prior to services. He wanted to see what his congregation would do. They walked right by him. When it was time for the service to begin the minister still in rags, went down the center aisle to the pulpit and used the experience to wake up his congregation.
The life story belonging to the young man on the bench was not for me to know. I believe our meeting was meant to be. I was very happy with the decision I made and I have a feeling that whoever else was watching was too. I found what was missing from my Christmas spirit by following my heart.
Acts of kindness are offerings of love and acknowledgment between one living creature and another. The more we do them, the more we do them without thinking. Giving creates universal love for both the giver and the receiver.