Like so many people today, I often find myself stressing about money or lack thereof. It feels like it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet these days. However, I am frequently reminded of just how good I’ve got it…how I shouldn’t worry about tomorrow, or bills, or money, and how thankful I should be for everything I have been given.
There is a lady that has had insurance with our office for quite awhile…long enough for me to know that she struggles financially. She scrapes by week-to-week, not just make ends meet, but to simply put food on the table. She has lived a rough life, but she is such a beautiful person. She never wants people to take pity on her. She never asks anything of anyone.
This afternoon, she came in, and the look I saw behind her eyes was one that I would liken to a wild animal cornered; she looked panicked…terrified…fearful…helpless. She bolted to my desk and plopped down, telling me with shortened breath that she needed to pay her monthly premium. Before I could speak, one of my co-workers asked her if she was okay. “No, I’m not.” she squeaked. She began telling us that she just found out that her father is being rushed into open-heart surgery…and that his lungs are not in great shape. She was so afraid. Her voice trembled as she told us this, and her hands were shaking as she handed me her payment.
I advised her of how much she owed, and she began thanking God b/c she was going to get $10 and some change back out of the $60.00 that she gave me. My co-worker went to fetch drink for her, and we asked her to sit with us in the cool air for a few minutes and sip on her soda. She agreed. As she sat, she began talking to us…detailing things that are going on in her life which she normally doesn’t discuss. She told us more about her father and how scared she was to lose him. She told us about her son, who is going to down the wrong path no matter how she tries to help. She told us about her brother that she cares for who is handicapped. And, she still trembled like a leaf the entire time she spoke.
I thought of her and everything she was telling me. My heart hurt for her. I wanted to help her. I grabbed my purse and fished out $5.00. I scooted it across the desk and told her to take it. Her eyes filled with tears as she shook her head.
“No, Brandi.” she said.
“Please, take it.” I begged her. “I know it isn’t much, but please…I want to help.”
She began to cry, and I felt the warmth of tears filling my eyes as well. My co-worker had apparently been digging in her purse at the same time as I was because she appeared beside us and handed her another $5.00.
“Please, I don’t want y’all to feel sorry for
” she cried. me.
I told her that I didn’t feel sorry for her, but that my heart hurt for her situation….and that I wanted to help her. I told her that I would pray for her father, for her son, and for her. She sat with us a little while longer, and then she was gone.
All day today, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. I thought and thought and thought…but nothing seemed fitting. Now, I know why. Because today was supposed to be about a lesson…a reminder for me…about how I shouldn’t take the little things for granted. I should be thankful for all of my blessings and focus on those things instead of worrying about what-ifs. And, I also saw how a little kindness goes a long way. What a wonderful world it would be if we could carry just a little kindness with us each and every day.