It was a crisp morning, and I decided to do something different this particular Saturday. I had signed up for a 5k, something I hadn’t done in the last couple of years.
I had recently turned 50 and had become unsettled reflecting on my half century of living…
As I was leaving to run this indirect and unfamiliar course, I grabbed a bottle of water from the table. For whatever reason, I never bothered to open my water as I ran.
Then as I was running through the Englewood tunnel, I saw in the distance a homeless man. He was bundled up in a hoodie with a sleeping bag and backpack by his side.
I looked down and thought I would offer this man my water. Such a small thing, but maybe he actually was thirsty or maybe I just wanted to give a piece of myself to someone and hope he responded.
When I asked “Hey, would you like my water? I haven’t even opened it,” he looked at me and said, “Sure, that would be great.”
Stopping to Genuinely Connect
It could’ve ended at that, but then he stood up and reached out to take the water, and then our eyes met as he thanked me, and I saw him, really saw him, not as a homeless guy down on his luck, but as a person just like me. When I saw his blue-green eyes, I thought of his hopes, his dreams, his mom (wherever she may be) and how we were alike in so many ways. It was fleeting, but also a lifetime shared in that moment.
I ran a 5K that day, but God had so much more in store. I saw someone’s soul and hoped as he went to sleep that night he knew that he saw my soul as well. I prayed sweet dreams for him as our chance meeting is something I will never forget.
Two years later, I still remember his gentle eyes and wonder how he is doing.
Make Time to Reach Out to Others
I share this story with you because although it was a small gesture, it was meaningful to him and to me. I connected with him.
Nowadays, it is easy to be self-focused and forget we are to be other-minded to live a fulfilling life. We rush through our days and may not serve or connect with even one person. However, I believe after several days of not fellowshipping with others can take its toll on our emotional health.
We were created to be in relationship, and I have found my happiest memories to be when I am listening to and serving my fellow man.
What about you?
Feeling Overwhelmed? – Serve Someone Else
On your days when only your problems fill your head, it helps to go serve someone, call or email someone you haven’t connected with for a while and share an old story. Just this simple act will lift your spirits and the spirit of others.
Do you have a story to share of a similar experience?