This morning while I was eating my breakfast I turned on the morning news. There’s nothing unique about that; it’s my routine. However, there was something coincidental. It has everything to do with breaking routine. You see, every morning the news for the most part, is the same. And it’s bad. Crimes committed against the vulnerable, crooked politicians, wild-fires out of control—you name it, it happens.
But this morning one of the first stories reported was about a photograph. It was taken by someone who was in the right place at the right time. The picture was of a teenager kneeling at the foot of a sleeping homeless man. The teenager wasn’t there to beat the defenseless stranger, or to steal whatever small valuables he might have, or to just be cruel and divvy out more bad luck to someone with clearly an abundance. No, he was there to pray for the man.
The story touched me because just the day before, I was on the road running from one sales appointment to another and needing a pit-stop in between. My head was full of the things that people like me would consider important. How am I going to pay my bills this month? My leads suck. My closing ratio is down this week. I just had a huge fight with my girlfriend. My cat may have cancer. My this, my that, my everything.
Notice how many “my’s” there are?
Okay, back to what happened. As I said, I needed a pit-stop so I turned in to a Bee-Back service station at the corner. By the way, not the cleanest I’ve seen. Anyway, as I walked in I passed a homeless guy. He wasn’t headed out of the store; he was just walking by. To describe him would be redundant, other than to say, he looked truly down on his luck and . . . he was shoeless. As I walked past him he didn’t acknowledge me and I returned the gesture.
Fully relieved and fully engrossed in my personal issues again, I got in my company car and headed to my next sales call. On the way out of the parking lot, I saw the same homeless guy sitting on the ground around the corner of the store, his back against the building for support.
I drove right passed.
Then, this morning I saw a photograph of a teenager bowing his head in prayer at the foot of a homeless man sleeping on the street. It made me wish I could do something; it made me wish I had done something.
I think . . .
Is this my prayer?
P.S. – Maybe we should all carry a spare pair of flip-flops.