Counting My Blessings

I had a “moment” today during my lunch break. Now that the girls are nearly four, the DH and I are finally breaking down and getting a “new-to-us” boat, so we had our appointment at the credit union for our loan. We met at the main branch downtown. Heading back to my office after completing the paperwork, I took the Beaver St to Broad St to State St to I-10 route. Those of you familiar with Jacksonville may know that there are several homeless shelters and missions on Broad Street.

While sitting at the light right in front of the Clara White Mission, I was watching several clusters of homeless individuals waiting around, and it made me wonder what their lives must be like. Here I was in my nice late model, low mileage vehicle, two Eddie Bauer car seats and a guitar in the back, a basket full of CDs and DVDs sitting at the ready up front, having just signed a loan to buy a boat, while these folks had little or nothing to their names and had to come here just to get a simple bite to eat. One particular couple caught my eye. They were young, barely in their 20s, if that, and had a baby. The young man was standing behind the young woman with his arm wrapped around her neck, and he reached around to gently give her a kiss on the cheek. After the kiss, the young woman bent down to adjust the blanket on the baby, shielding her from the sun. Regardless of their situation, they looked completely blissful.

This simple little scene reinforced in me that fact that I am very blessed. In addition to a caring husband and two beautiful little redheads, I have a nice roof over my head, a good job, two cars in the driveway and soon a boat in the back yard. Sure, I’ve been through some very sad times, we all have, but overall I am blessed with a very good life. And so, probably, are you. Because you are reading this blog, you most likely have a computer, and therefore, a little extra spending money in addition to most, if not all, of the things I just mentioned. These folks have none of that. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not a Pollyanna or a bleeding heart liberal calling for a total revamping of the welfare system….I know good and well that some people get themselves into homeless situations out of pure laziness, but I also know that just as many end up on the streets regardless of how hard they fought to stay afloat.

No, I’m not putting out a call to action here. I’m not asking you to go down to your local soup kitchen to volunteer, though that can be a very rewarding experience. I’m not even asking you to send anyone any money. I’m just giving you a little food for thought…encouraging you to think about your own little blessings. Take a look around you, and then take a look inside you and see if you don’t feel just as blessed.

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