Meeting Hal~



Over the past few months, either by watching the news or hearing conversations taking place around me, I recognize that so many people are stressed, fearful, and sometimes even expressing hopelessness. I KNOW that I cannot even begin to attempt to meet the needs they are facing or fix the world they live in……but I can choose to be intentionally kind. I can try to situate my day so that my schedule isn’t so incredibly tight that when an opportunity to stop and be kind arrives I can respond well.

His name was Hal, which I didn’t know until he introduced me to himself later in our conversation but while grocery shopping I saw Hal out of the corner of my eye.   Seeing him, I kinda sized him up right away ~ homeless, toothless, possibly a little mental illness, outgoing, and kindhearted.

Now, I must insert that even though my heart hurts for those I see begging on the street expressing the need for funds due to being jobless and homeless, I am also careful so that I don’t help them perpetuate a lifestyle that will ultimately keep them in the life position they are in;  I support quality programs that help those that are homeless to get off the street, get training or education, and an opportunity to build self-esteem and a legacy for their lives.

As I walked out to my car I could see Hal standing in front of the Taco stand near my car; he was looking at the few coins in his hand, looking at the Taco stand, then back to his hand. It was then that the two of our eyes connected and he walked my way. “Would you consider buying me a taco?” he said.   I reached in my purse and took out a bill larger than he had anticipated and his eyes got really wide! “Oh Lady, I’m going to get the biggest burrito in the joint!!”

He smiled, thanked me, and began to walk away. Hal looked back and headed, again, in my direction. “Lady, do you read “The Book”? I told him “Yes, I read “The Book” every day!” Hal’s eyes got bigger “ Well, then you must know “The Man”!” I told him “Yes, I surely do know “The Man”!   Hal told me that “The Man” was his best friend.

Then Hal walked away as I proceeded to put my groceries into the back of the car. With a tap on my shoulder I saw Hal’s toothless grin as he asked me, “have you ever read Psalm 41:1?, because that’s what you did, that’s what you did today!” Then Hal and I introduced ourselves to one another and shook hands. For a moment time stood still and two human beings connected at the heart; both of us were encouraged in a unique and meaningful way.

When I arrived home I looked up Psalm 41:1 which read   “Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him.”

I guess Hal really did read “The Book” and he really did  know “The Man”!

I challenge you as I challenge myself ~ let’s slow down and see if we can’t tangibly encourage someone in a special way this coming week, you just might walk away with a blessing yourself! 🙂

She misses him~


Today was a typical pre-Christmas day~~ busy with errands, shopping, baking, and wrapping; my brain even felt busy!  As I pushed my shopping cart through a store packed with people moving slowly, I tried to find the best route to get my shopping done; to rush off to the next errand.  Then she began talking to me.

She said, ” I love your boots, you look so nice; so happy.”  She gave me a wink and said ” you must have a sweet man to love you!”  This 80-year-old lady in old sweats and disheveled hair then said, ” I used to have someone but he passed away; you would have loved Arthur.”

My mind was racing as I realized I was taken aback by her boldness with me and I was feeling the pinch of my tight schedule…….do I engage in what could be a long conversation? Then I heard myself say, “tell me about your Arthur.”  And there we stood for about 30 minutes while Gloria told me all about Christmas’s gone by: parties she and Arthur used to host, food they used to cook, and gifts they used to exchange. She misses him.

Before we two strangers went on our own ways we were able to share a hug and wish one another a Merry Christmas.  I watched her walk away with a sense of sadness but I was also feeling a full heart; I felt like I knew her Arthur and I would have really liked him.

Another amazing reminder to give extra care to those around us during the holidays; we never know who really needs to be heard; for someone to care.