And that is what Christmas should be all about – love, empathy, and compassion
Picture credit: Ralf Weiser
“Papa, please take my allowance money and give it to this homeless organization”. That is what my son said to me during a stroll around Times Square in New York City during the holiday season two years ago. At a loss for words, I gave what would have been the pocket money for the month to the nice man who was collecting for a local church led initiative helping the homeless in the area. “Dad, this will buy at least 20 warm meals for them!” my son exclaimed with his face lit up like a Christmas tree.
Just 5 minutes before that he had contemplated getting a super hero Build-A-Bear for himself, but he wanted to think about it for a little while. So we went up and down Broadway before we ended up stopping at the homeless initiative’s street booth.
10 minutes prior to hitting the Build-A-Bear shop, we had come across 2 homeless people. They were covered in at least 3 blankets each and only their faces protruded from them. It was a nasty wet 27 degrees F (around -3C) outside and my son and I could only keep warm by dressing up warmly and having a set of warm mittens, scarves, and hats on. How did they manage to stay warm?
Isn’t it fascinating that we really consider the fate of others so much better when we experience their hardship ourselves? I cannot fathom being homeless with no one expecting you, no one who really cares, or LOVES you? If this little story will help blessing or really helping one single homeless person my son and I have fulfilled our purpose.
Next time you pass by a homeless person (see picture above) try stopping and really looking at the person. We may not be able to single handedly save them all, but providing a blessing one single soul at a time would sure make a difference if more and more of us did this. Check out Ron Hall’s and Denver Moore’s story “The same kind of different as me”. A real story about a modern-day slave, an international art dealer, and the unlikely woman who bound them together (Details here).
I wish you a Merry Christmas and will leave you with one of my favorite singer’s quotes:
“I think the whole world is dying to hear someone say, ‘I love you.’ I think that if I can leave the legacy of love and passion in the world, then I think I’ve done my job in a world that’s getting colder and colder by the day.” —Lionel Richie