Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why the homeless are actually richer

I had one of those eye opening moments Friday that make someone stop and contemplate their own life.  I was praying in church after all the students left mass and a few 2nd grade students wondered back in and went up to the homeless man who sits in front of me to keep out of the cold.  They brought him a piece of cake and told him to have a nice day and went off to spend their day learning.  It is a beautiful thing to watch kids at such a young age start to learn the value of giving and loving everyone around them.   While seeing this interaction was moving enough, what happened next really stopped me in my tracks.

As soon as the students left, what was the first thing he did? Turn around and ask me if I wanted to share the piece of cake with him.  It totally caught me off guard, but was such a generous gesture. Here was a man who has very little, probably isn’t sure if he is even going to eat the rest of the day and yet he is offering part of what he has been given to me. 

How often do I ever do this? Get something and think ‘now who can I go and share this with?´ I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t usually my first thought.  This really brought me back to my time in India and Haiti; the poor were always the first to try to share. They didn’t cling to things like we do in the US.  They didn’t see possessions as the source of their happiness and instead they get joy from sharing with others, even the little they have. 

Pope Francis explained it the best:

“The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor.

Are you willing to give even when your glass isn’t full, or does your glass just keep growing?