It never ceases to amaze me, how a simple, seemingly insignificant gesture can have such a tremendous impact…
I was reminded of this just a couple of weeks ago.
It was a Wednesday.
I had finally made it to morning Mass, something I’ve been wanting to do since the beginning of Lent.
After Mass I snuck into our Adoration chapel for a little one-on-one time with Jesus, something I absolutely treasure about my Catholic faith.
I left Adoration spiritually nourished and completely at peace, ready for whatever the day had in store for me.
As I exited the chapel I noticed a homeless man sitting about ten feet away, hunched over, trying to stay warm. He called out to me ‘Can you get me a cup of coffee in there”. He was pointing in the direction I was coming from but I couldn’t remember seeing any coffee shops anywhere along that street. Perplexed I asked if he had a specific place in mind and he just pointed in the same direction saying “in there”.
The only place I could think of was our Parish office.
I figured it was worth a shot.
“There’s a homeless man outside who’d like a cup of coffee. Where can I get him one?” I inquired as I walked into the office.
The secretary sighed as she said, “Oh, that’s George, our resident homeless. Hold on a minute.”
Her response told me this was not the first request from George and I suspected he made more than one inquiry each day. She returned with a steaming cup of coffee and asked, “Do you mind giving it to him?”
“Of course not!”
“Hi George!” I greeted him as I approached with the cup of coffee.
His eyes lit up at the anticipation of the hot beverage.
As I handed him the coffee I noticed his hands were crooked and stiff so I offered to hold the cup up to his lips so he could take a few sips. As I did so, he turned and kissed my hand. I had not anticipated this and almost spilled the coffee on him.
After enjoying a few hot sips, George asked me to place the coffee on the chair next to him so he could reach it later.
I stayed on talked to him for a few minutes.
When it was time for me to go, George took my hand, gave it a warm kiss and looking straight into my eyes he said sweetly “I love you Valerie. God bless you!”
He took my breath away and tears threatened to stream down my face.
I had not done much really….
Just stopped for a few minutes to honor this man’s dignity…
Treat him with love and compassion…
Honor his humanity…
I had not gone out of my way or spent any money…. just took a few minutes to share a smile and a cup of coffee…
A few minutes that changed everything!
When George looked deep into my eyes and said “I love you Valerie” it was as though Christ himself was speaking those words to me.
“I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ ~ Mathew 25:36
George has stayed with me to this day. I caught a glimpse of him at Mass last Sunday but he was gone before I could say “Hi”.
I don’t know George’s story and perhaps I never will.
But I will always remember those few minutes with him….
The feel of his kiss on my hand…
The love in his eyes as he spoke those words to me…
In those few minutes George mattered… I mattered.
We all have the power to make someone feel loved, each and every day.
A simple, seemingly insignificant gesture can have a profound impact that will change you forever.
Take time today to show someone you care…
To bring a little joy, a little warmth, a little love to someone who really needs it.
All too often we rush through our day, stressed about getting everything done, barely noticing the people around us… People who are cold… People who are hungry… People who don’t ask for much more than a simple cup of coffee….
When you stop and bless someone with your time you too will be abundantly blessed!