Being Kind to a Sleeping Stranger

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, November 26, 2014

THANK Thank-to-God

Being Kind to a Sleeping Stranger

Happy Thanksgiving, to one and all. Today was a quiet, down day. A day to catch up on some needed rest and relaxation, a Sabbath day for me. I particularly needed a Sabbath, after going full bore for almost three weeks.

Except—my husband and I went out for a cup of coffee this afternoon. Yes, we were actually able to find an open Starbucks. My daughter, home from college for Thanksgiving break, decided to go out with her distinctly un-cool, fuddy-duddy mom and dad, at the last minute.

My daughter is such an interesting person. So is my husband. (I must say, I am not so bad at conversation myself.) We had the rare opportunity to sit and talk with each other for over a half an hour, with no computers, DVD players, smart phones, MP3 players, or other gadgetry to distract us. I very much enjoyed finding out more about what my daughter was learning in several of her classes, as well as her experience at a recent lecture with a visiting professor. Amused, I did more listening than talking. She and my husband were getting into it in rapid-fire fashion, concerning the subject of the lecture (a fascinating aspect of medieval literature).

While we were engaged in conversation in the rear of the coffee shop, a tall man came up and sat down about ten or twelve feet away from us, on the booth-type seat along the wall. We didn’t notice him at first, but then, I saw him begin to nod off. And, he did not have any coffee. I felt compassion towards the man. I caught my husband’s eye, and gestured towards the sleeping man. I smiled, sadly.

My husband saw him, too. And immediately registered what his probable backstory was.

My husband was a volunteer at our former church’s homeless drop-in shelter, on Monday afternoons. During the weeks between November 1 and March 31, the church we used to attend had (and still has) a drop-in place for the homeless and indigent, from 3 to 7 pm. First Presbyterian Church took Mondays out of the week. He was a regular volunteer there, most Monday afternoons, for about five years.

So, we both suspected this man needed a place to get in out of the cold. Especially on this cold day, with the high temperature of about 20 degrees.

I was not about to complain to the Starbucks employees about this man. No way! My husband and I watched him sleep with compassion, and did not disturb him. I mentioned that I hoped he had some other place to go when the Starbucks closed. I finished my coffee, and left along with the rest of my family.

I never did find out what happened to this man, afterwards. I don’t think he had any place to go on Thanksgiving. I hope and pray for him. Lord, have mercy on this dear man. I don’t even know his name—but You do. God, bless this man.

@chaplaineliza

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Of Computers and of Service

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, May 12, 2014

 

HAPPY I'll be happy

Of Computers and of Service

Today was a computer day. I did a good deal of work on the computer, reading, writing and sending emails. I also read various articles and posts. Responded to several more, and communicated in various computer-ways.

I could talk about the interesting exchange of tweets I had today on Twitter, but the subject matter was rather esoteric. (I enjoyed it! But, I am not sure whether lots of other people would be too interested.) Instead, I want to mention a post I responded to. The blog is www.communicatingacrossbordersblog.wordpress.com – and Marilyn spent a good number of years outside of the United States, and this blog highlights that aspect of her life. (Life as a Third Culture Kid—TCK—or someone who’s neither this . . . nor that.) Robynn also contributes to this blog—another TCK.

Today’s post was From “Yes, but” to “But God” and Marilyn spoke of her experience living in New England. How people there often respond to bright, happy comments with, “Yes, but . . . “ She then followed that up with talking about her snappy comeback: “But God!” I was intrigued. My mind started whirring. (Of course it did.) I started typing a comment, and it became more than a comment. It turned into a post of its own! Except, a post for my other blog, www.matterorprayerblog.wordpress.com – The post is called “Prayer Lessons from Improv? Yup.”

I also typed a response to Marilyn’s article, which I posted before lunch. In it, I talked about how the “Yes, But . . . “ post had started me thinking about my two years in comedy improv. The example I gave: “. . . the saying, “Never ‘No, but . . .’ Always ‘Yes, and . . !’” If, in improv, I say “No, but . . . ” in a sketch, I’m putting on the breaks. The sketch runs out of gas, FAST! However, if I say “Yes, and . . . ” then the sketch gains momentum! It has the potential to go to further, greater heights.”

Lo and behold, Marilyn’s compatriot Robynn responded to my comment with, “I want to do improv in Chicago!” (Yup, Robynn. Improv was great. I enjoyed it!)

I so enjoyed giving Robynn some more information, in return. I talked more about the improv classes, but I finally brought it around to communicating in various ways, and specifically preaching. (I enjoy preaching, too—in case anyone couldn’t guess!)

I hope my computer-communication was of service today. I hope so. I pray so! Please, God, send me some good, worthwhile way to be of service tomorrow.

@chaplaineliza

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