Another Mother’s Child

I learned a very important lesson about Grace this week from another woman’s child.

grace2

My husband and I try to make time every week or so to run out without the kids and get a quick bite to eat and some alone time. A “date night”, kinda, that included a quick trip to the grocery store usually, and a stop  in a restaurant  for a quick bite and  some conversation. Last week, when we were sharing a pizza, he and I chatted a bit about some of the things happening in our lives when I noticed a young couple come in. A young man and woman, late teens, early twenties at the most, she was wearing a backpack and struggled to get out of it. I saw them speak to the hostess, and they sat on the benches where people waiting to pick up food to go.  The boy spoke quietly, urgently, to the girl, who was leaning back with her eyes closed. A waitress came over and handed them both glasses of water with straws. The boy opened on straw, put it in the glass, and  handed it to the girl and she put her head down and drank the water.

I watched the boy as he watched the girl. She almost looked like she was going to pass out.  He was intent on her, grabbing her hand and  wiping her face. I realized she was crying.  He said something to her, she smiled slightly and sat back again. He got up and thanked the waitress for the water and returned the glass.  The girl slowly finished her water, and got up and returned the glass to the waitress, as well.

The girl stood, grabbed her bag and walked out of the restaurant. Then the boy stood, and put on his backpack. I noticed him  walk over and inspect the cake display. I thought, oh, that’s cute, he’s going to get his girl a piece of cake.  Then I saw him look around, take a piece of cake out of the case and slide it under his shirt.  He smiled at the waitress (who couldn’t see) and walked out.

I knew then, my first intention were right.   They were alone. Probably homeless, definitely hungry.  I wondered if they part of the group of heroin addicts that have been plaguing my town for a while now.  I wanted to go up to them while I was sitting, watching, and ask them if they were ok and maybe order them a pizza because they looked hungry, but I held back.  What if they were some of those heroin addict? What kind of people were they, anyway, walking into a restaurant, asking for only water, then swiping a dessert?

They are some other woman’s children.   Someone loved them, someone bathed them, fed them, put them to bed.  They are no different than my children, really, someone loved them.

We left right after them and I looked for those kids. I wanted to buy them some food and  water, We are not wealthy, in fact, we pinch every penny but  I certainly can always find enough to feed a hungry kid. Always.  I wanted to make sure they were ok.  I wanted to know I didn’t waste a chance for Grace, but I did.   I missed a chance to  help someone who needed it because, truthfully, I was judging if they were really the types of people I needed to help.  I gave up a chance to help someone because I let myself be held back by things that simply were not important.  What was important, they were hungry, and I could have helped them . I let my hesitations stop me.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, Matthew 25:25

I won’t let it happen again.

Grace happens. Be ready for it.

 

Update: I never did see those kids again, but I’ve been watching for them. I’ve found other instances of Grace in my life since I was aware of missing it last week. My eyes are opened, but more importantly, my heart is.  It’s not the big gestures with lots of attention but the small ones with no one knowing that are feeding my soul.

Grace.

Comments

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    What a sad story this is. It makes me sad to think anyone is out there going hungry, especially children, and it makes me sadder that they have to resort to this.

    • I agree, Robin. I live in a small, rural community, but no where is free of people needing help. I hope I recognize it sooner, next time.

  2. It is so easy to dismiss people in the moment. I’m sorry you weren’t able to find these kids again, but I love that you have found more instances of Grace since, and been able to make a difference.

  3. Wow. How sad. And how thoughtful of you to look for them. I hope they are okay. We need more people like you out there. Caring.

  4. How sad for these children but what a beautiful transformation for you! We are all so quick to judge and all too often we mis-judge. I love that this incident has opened your eyes and heart. How many people would have been even harsher with their judgement if they some the young man steal! God is working wonders in your life and I thank you for sharing so beautifully so that we may all learn from your experience and take a moment to observe with our heart before we judge anyone. God bless!

  5. I suspect I would have wondered the same things about them you did. It’s so sad that they had to steal a slice of cake, and I would have a hard time dismissing that part and not judging that. You really got me thinking though, so thank you.

  6. sometimes it’s easier to judge than empathize.

    • you’re so right! I’m ashamed that I judged first, and empathized 2nd, but I’m thankful that I learned and it opened me up to see more!

  7. It is so easy to judge someone. Next time go with your first thought to help. Sometimes just enough help would have been good. I bet you she was pregnant and sick with nausea. He got the cake to help her. This happens often. Just wish it was easier for those that are homeless to get food help.

  8. Sometimes it’s so easy to judge and dismiss instead of realizing that we are all capable of making mistakes. I know I’ve been guilty. The important thing is, we do learn so we’re able to help next time the opportunity presents itself. Because it undoubtedly will.

  9. I’m sure the same thoughts you had have also came through for others as well. I hope they do pop back into your life down the road and you are able to help them then! Or better yet maybe you will see them back on there feet and they won’t need the help. Would be nice to see that transformation.

  10. It is terrible to see people going hungry in our own country, our own cities. I have never witness something like this, but I too would be quick to judge. Hopefully you are able to see then again and help them.

  11. Oh wow, what a sad situation. I hope you can find them and help, but God works the way He works, maybe they were just the thing that opened your eyes to something else, and the help you offer will find a recipient elsewhere.

  12. I normally ‘skim’ through posts, but I read this whole post. I loved it. It is sooo true about ‘hesitation’ or thinking to hard about something. This post opened my eyes. Thank you.

  13. I do hope they are ok and you see them again. Lesson learned. Hate seeing any child hungry. It happens all over.

  14. What a sad situation these kids find themselves in and how unfortunate that you hesitated. But I love the lesson you’ve learned and that you are committed to finding ways to help. I think we are all guilty of judging too quickly sometimes and can all learn from what you’ve share… I like that you remind us that these kids do belong to another mom… a mom who may not be able to provide the best because she has fallen into difficult times.. or perhaps she too is battling addiction… or maybe she’s given them everything and they’ve given in to peer pressure… We can’t know what’s behind every situation we observe but we must always remember that we catch just a tiny glimpse…

  15. I hate hearing about kids and young adults going hungry. That’s such a sad situation. I hope you see them again and can help them.

  16. Great lesson and reminder for all of us. It was a touching story and I’m glad you shared it with us. I do my best to help others whenever possible, and certainly understand your hesitation too.

  17. God gives me grace everyday so I try to extend that grace to others. Great story.

  18. It breaks my heart to think of people going hungry. I hope those children found the help they need. Thank you for sharing your story.

  19. There are so many people who need help! I think it is great that you wanted to help and reach out.

  20. I think we’re all too quick to judge sometimes – more often than not actually. I think many of us would have done the same thing in your situation, and really, it’s kind of sad if you think about it :(

  21. Seeing things like this is always tough. there is a homeless man that lives in the woods behind the shopping center and when ever I can I stop by and give him some fresh fruit and water bottles… It is the little things, I guess…

  22. Amy Desrosiers says:

    This is a reminder that you should never judge people. We do not know their story or path. I can relate because my brother was that 20 year old heroin addict who fell on hard times. I give everyone a chance and can almost feel their pain.

    • I agree, Amy. I let judgment cloud my eyes, even if just for a minute, and it was wrong. But now my eyes and heart are open!

  23. That story moved me. It’s true you just never really know another’s story and/or struggle. At the same time, everything happens for a reason. Reminds me of that song “What if they’re an Angel” (or something like that), lol.

  24. Wow truly amazing! I try to find graces every day in my life, thankfully my mom instilled that in us!

  25. God brings people into our lives, even from a distance, to open our heart and eyes to the needs of those around us. So great that you’re looking ahead, waiting for another opportunity! Lord bless your future chances. =)

  26. Aw, I would have wanted to help, too. It’s so hard sometimes to know when you should – when people really do need it, you know? I guess you just give and hope it all works out.

  27. Jessica Urgelles says:

    Well written sadly enough people don’t look at other kids as their own. It is hard to watch any child, young adult, or even an adult going through a tough time.

  28. It’s a tough situation to be in. The world has made us all skeptical on some level. I hope you do see those kids again someday, so you can know that they’re surviving and perhaps reach out to them then. :)

  29. This is a very heart touching story. I agree it is also a hard predicament to deal with.

  30. Maria Oller says:

    I always try to not judge, I know I am not perfect so why I would expect it from others, I always try to help those who need even wen some of them took advantage of me. Mostly kids because maybe some day my kids could be in the same place and some other mom will watch for them. *karma*

    • I agree 100%! Which is why I was beating myself up for not being as quick to help as I was to judge. I did learn a lesson!

  31. How sad! It breaks my heart to know that there are kids out there going hungry right here in the US. While I don’t hesitate to feed kids, I can sometime be a lot different with adults but I guess they were someone’s child too and I really shouldn’t judge. Thanks for sharing this story with us.

  32. This is the predicament all over our Country. Which is why it baffles me that we spend soo much time and energy giving to other countries– and we at home our suffering. Bless you for trying to find them and help them out.

  33. very touching!! this taught us all not to hesitate ,stop judging and when you get chance to help someone grab it

  34. That is so incredibly true, how many times in our life do we let moments to let God’s grace shine because of our hesitations, our own perceived thoughts or opinions.

  35. Honestly, just noticing that you should be more proactive in your life was a fantastic step. I try to consistently be proactive w/ being blessed enough to help those around me- you will get your moment back.

  36. A very touching story and a life lesson. They were hungry and you did everything you could. And then you shared this story. :) Thank you.

  37. Very sad, I am guilty of this as well.

  38. Oh! I did go through a situation somewhat similar at one point and it was definitely difficult to see. It’s sad but when I see this I think about the many things we all take for granted that someone else could really appreciate.

  39. What a lesson you learned that day :) I never give people money, but I will buy them food and drinks.

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