My daily walk to the office has me pass down this one block where the homeless congregate. Several weeks ago, upon reaching the end of this block, I noticed a new member to this brigade. An old man, bound to a wheel chair that had warped wheels and a rotten wooden board as a backrest. My heart sank at the sight of him and his misfortune. He sat there lifeless, holding onto a soiled papercup that had a few coins in it. I stopped, reached in my pocket and tossed a few coins in. The sound of the coins woke him from his slumber.He looked up at me, "Bless you!Thank You! Bless you!" he said. The mere emphasis on the "thank you" sent goosebumps up my arms, and a tingling sensation down my spine. I never knew that 50 cents could still buy me such a thrill.
Weeks passed, he became a permanent fixture on the corner, and my donation, a daily ritual. The other morning, I received a phone call as I was walking and was deeply engaged in the conversation. I walked past the homeless man, and was halted by his cry, "Hey! You forgetting me today?" I stopped, turned, and habitually placed my hand in my pocket and tossed a few coins in his cup. he smiled and drifted back into his slumber.
After I finished my conversation I was overwhelmed by what had taken place. The whole act of charity had been sabotaged. I was giving out of habit, and he was thankless because it was something he come to expect!
Gratitude is best expressed when you receive something beyond your expectation.
Of course, I mused. I am thankful for each day. Each day is like a coin in my cup. The day does not need to be filled with accomplihments or dreams being fullfilled. Just give me a day, and I can fill it with so many simple small things, that by the nighttime it is too heavy to lift. Just give me a day, where I can say a few "I love Yous" a few "thank Yous" and other mutually uplifting words, and I am in debted to the donor!. Just drop another day in my cup, where I am given minutes to recall what it felt like to hold your hand, hold you in my arms, and look in your eyes. Just drop those minutes in my cup, allowing me another opportunity to add something to your memory! Drop this coin into my cup and I feel like the richest man on earth!
I am this way, because I have never expected how wonderful and fullfilling thesethings can be.
Tomorrow the sun will rise, and when I see it, I will hear the clinking...another coin in my cup!...and I will raise my head and thank the donor!
May you all hear the same jingling!