Give until it hurts. Who does this?
I was supervising lunch recess for my students when I saw a man walking across the playground (really a part of the parking lot that it roped off at lunchtime). He was dressed a little strangely and walking directly through the boys playing football so I walked over to him to escort him safely to the other side. As I got closer I could better see what he was wearing… worn out shoes, well worn jeans, a 1/4 zip fleece and a fleece bathrobe with a wide leather belt holding it closed. On his head he was sporting a baseball cap.  He was carrying a holiday gift bag as he shuffled slowly towards me. I asked if he was lost and he said he was on his way to drop off the bag at the Rectory so I walked him to the rectory door. We soon realized that the rectory was closed for lunch.  I offered to take the bag and deliver it later that afternoon. I looked inside to find a pair of very well worn and duct tape repaired soccer slide sandals… something any one of us would have thrown away long ago. He explained that he loved these shoes and they were”expensive” but he was willing to part with them because someone needed them more than he did. He was donating them to a Christmas service project for the poor of the parish.  We came upon our Maintenance man who offered to place the bag in the Rectory for us. He looked inside as I did then looked at me as we shared a knowing smile. This gift of the heart would get delivered.
I walked the gentleman back across the lot and back to the safety of his car….which was a rather nice newer model vehicle. He got in and drove off.
We never know the circumstances of others. I know nothing about this man but was as surprised by his generosity and caring as I was by his attire. I do not know where he went when he left. What I do know is that he made me think…

How many of us feel the pain when we give? How many of us give from the heart? How many of us give of ourselves and our time? How many of us give at all?
 How many of us judge others by appearance? How many of us just judge?

Thank you, gentleman wearing the robe. You gave me the gift of giving.

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