Monday, November 05, 2007

For ten bucks, that's a bargain.

A deep distress hath humanized my soul.

--William Wordsworth

I think I'm a wiser man than I was just two months ago. I think pain has a way of transforming us, of humanizing us and forcing us to grow. I ran into a homeless man the other day who asked me for money for a sandwich outside of a great sandwich shop. What's $10 to me? Nothing. But to him? I was surprised at the utter joy that entered his face when he saw that I had given him two five dollar bills. His toothless grin lit up as if he was a kid at Christmas. He leaped up and thanked me profusely and since I had also given him a recommendation of a great sandwich to try, he wanted to hear again which one I recommended. Shaking his hand and seeing his gratitude and happiness humbled me and gave me a healthy dose of perspective. I quickly realized that I received more out of the transaction than he did. It made me think that perhaps when we are going through difficult things that one of the best things we can do is to do something for other people. I believe we are more "human" when we suffer and in suffering we become more compassionate and caring towards our fellow man. In times like what I'm going through now I know it's easy for me to dwell on just me, but I'm becoming convinced that the only way through, and the only way to deal with the trials of life is to embrace them and think of others, all the while trusting in a God who loves us.

That toothless grin is something I don't want to forget.

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