I like to serve others. I like to help people. But when the opportunity arises how quick am I to act? And how?
Late last night the hubs and I stopped to grab a bite to eat on our way back home from Los Angeles. I was hungry but not really. It had been a long day and the stresses of life were urging me to seek some source of comfort in food. Cheesecake Factory sounded so good. As we tried to find parking the taste of the warm bread that they serve as you wait for your order delighted my cravings with anticipation. Once we were seated and glancing over the menu, I couldn’t seem to find the exact thing that would meet my needs. Like I said I wasn’t really hungry and the only thing that truly sounded good was just the bread. And once that basket of bread was placed before us, I reached for it and enjoyed each yummy bite of fresh buttery bread. I still felt obligated to eat something more substantial then just going ahead and ordering dessert. Chocolate, mmm need I say more? Actually I wasn’t feeling it as much as I was the bread at the moment.
Finally after several returns of the waitress I settled on the eggplant Parmesan on a bed of pesto noodles. The hubs was smart, being as late as it was, he ordered something small, the kids meal salmon.
When our dishes were placed before us, I immediately regretted my order as the mountain of food sat before me, this was way too much. I supposed I’d have a couple bites, take the rest home, and stuff it in the frig and end up forgetting about it. Again I wasn’t really hungry. Why did I order this if I honestly had no intentions of eating it?
We had it packed, paid the check and headed out.
Not 5 steps away, a man sat on the ground mumbled sometimes to us. My first instinct was to keep walking but not the hubs. He stopped to listen to the man. He was asking for our left overs. He was homeless and was hungry. In my selfish first thoughts I was not very empathetic. What? He wanted my food? The hubs offered it to him but I selfishly rejected and protested that it was my food. Ugh! I’m ashamed I did such a thing. How could I not share with this man the food that I didn’t even want to begin with. The man didn’t want money, he wanted food. The hubs gave him the food anyway, I’m so glad that he did. As we walked away I felt bad that I didn’t gladly and willing give him the food he asked for. I felt like such a horrible terrible person. Are we not all beggars? Why did I react that way? He is our brother in Christ and I’ve been taught several lessons and have heard so many talks of true charity. What a failure I was at that moment. I know I shouldn’t beat my self down any more then I already have but I pray to become better and that my heart would change. I failed this test but my hope is that I’ve learned from it and next time compassion would be my first reaction. I want to LOVE to serve and help others. To “like” is not enough.