One of the things my husband has the most trouble with is getting ready for trips. It never fails that he is packing at the last minute and discovering what he still needs to buy. Well, I determined we were not going down that road this time. We have been 'getting ready' for a few weeks now!
Yesterday morning I had him to a practice packing exercise so we could determine what we needed to shop for. He did very well with that and had his faux suitcase laid out and soon a list.
We headed into town in the afternoon with the list and proceeded with knocking items off it. I was surprised at how short his list was actually. (But I was more surprised by my short list :) ) Using our Fred Meyer Gift Card, (thank you NCCTK!!) we were able to get most of the things we needed. YAY!
one of the things we enjoyed the most about yesterday was just our time together. it had been awhile since we have had a day where, despite the list, we felt playful. We sat a few times and just people watched. Bruce thinks it would be fun to put together a coffee table book of the different styles people have for dressing. Yah, that would be entertaining!
We had a weird thing happen just outside the REI store. Just as we had parked and Bruce was opening his door to get out a man approached us with a thick file full of papers -- the file looked to be over packed and the pages sticking out looked wrinkled and frayed-- like he had been carrying this for awhile. I thought at first he was looking for signatures for some political thing but he launched into a long explanation about how he was a script writer who had been working for 7 years on a screen play based on the book of Samuel in the bible and had several movie producers interested before he even finished it. but now ... falling on bad luck...blah blah blah....
at this point i realized the guy really was a script writer and had written quite a script for his pan handler pitch! i was trying to inch away, giving Bruce wide eyed warning looks. he shot the look back at me but he stayed firmly in place. Oh no I am thinking....
the guy went on the explain how he was desperately trying to get to LA, -he said he was from Chicago I think... and anything we could give him would be of great help. blah blah blah....
Bruce gave the guy $5 (for creativity i think-- we have had our encounters over the years with pan handlers and this guy's pitch was among the best we'd heard!)
i stepped inside the store and waited for Bruce. a sales associate asked if i needed any help and i asked her if that man in the parking lot was a common fixture. she said she had never seen him before.
I wanted to scold Bruce for giving him any money but I also know what a soft heart he has. and maybe the guy really needs money... and not for drugs or beer.... maybe he has to develop a script to help save face? Bruce said the whole thing could be made up but he believes the man believes it. that's sad too.
there is so much need in the world and it is sometimes hard to tell how best to help them. giving them $5 won't change things for them but then again maybe Bruce blessed this man by doing it. We'll never know but I guess we should just always be open to the opportunity to serve and witness and extend kindness to our fellow man.
after all...isn't that why we are going on this mission trip?