I’m afraid to write this story because sometimes I can be a bit emotional about things. And, I’m not sure if this is a good quality of mine or a flaw. Maybe it’s a bit of both. Someone used to say, “There’s a Jessica A and a Jessica B. Jessica A is a hard-charging lawyer that either wins or solves every client problem. Jessica B is a very sensitive person – sometimes too sensitive.” I’m not sure I would agree with the “too” but I think this generally pegs me!
On Friday I went pick up dinner. When I got to the restaurant entrance there was a thin woman, all bundled up, looking hungry and cold. She came to me for money. I gave her a half-smile and just walked in. I was exhausted from the week and had nothing left in me. She came in and got in line behind me. “I didn’t mean you no harm,” she said to me. I nodded and smiled but I was focused – get food, get home and collapse.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her counting her money. She let a person go in front of her as she continued to count – it was all change. I was almost to the register when she began ordering. “I’ll have a burrito with extra meat,” she said to the guy behind the counter. “That’ll be extra,” he said. “Never mind – I don’t have that much but can I get some of that green stuff,” she asked. “The guacamole? That’s extra too,” he said. “No thanks.” she said.
The guy had to stop making her food to ring me up. As he helped me, I whispered, “I want to pay for whatever she wants. Give her the extra meat and the guacamole. And, give her chips please.” “Sure. No problem.” he said as he rang it all up. I hurried out. I didn’t want anyone to know it was me.
As I walked away, I started sobbing. My heard felt like it was breaking. How did I get to have the money to buy my food? How did I have a credit card and she didn’t? She looked so hungry and cold. It felt so unfair. Yet, I’d just done something nice – what the freak was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I smiling instead of crying?
I wish I could help more people. A friend used to joke with me that I’d happily give away my money and all his, if I could!
I’m not sure what my message is here. Maybe it’s that sometimes life is really painful – even when it’s not directed at us – but being suffered by others. Maybe it’s that we should be thankful for what we have right now, today. Maybe it’s that it’s good to feel that kind of heartache so we can be reminded how very lucky we are.
Whatever the message, I hope you enjoy amazing experiences this week!