Living under the bridge

I was leaving the bread thrift store in Parkersburg yesterday when I saw a guy looking in the dumpster that was in their parking lot.  I got out of the car and went and gave him 5 dollars.  As I walked away and got back in the car, I looked back at him and I saw the face of someone I used to see in my childhood.  I got out and walked back to him and asked if his last name was _________.  He said yes, and his first name was Eddie.  Eddie is 14 years older than me.  I asked him if he remembered my dad and he said he did, and my uncle.  I told him I used to know his brother.  Eddie said he hadn’t seen his brother for several years.  I was hoping for a yes when I asked him if he had an apartment in Parkersburg.  He said he and a couple of other guys stayed under one of two bridges.  I said, “I’ll bet it’s cold right now, isn’t it?”  He said, “Yea, pretty cold.  We’ve got some plastic and some cardboard and some blankets, but that ground feels like you’re laying on the ground in Alaska.  It’s hard and cold.”

After some more talk about the good gas mileage my car gets and the poor gas mileage his brother’s Super 8 motors used to get, I gave Eddie another 20 dollars.  He said, “I don’t want to take all your money.”  I said, “I’ll be OK.”

I’ll never miss that $25, but I’ll think about it often.

Eddie didn’t want to take all my money.  I’m glad Eddie didn’t ask why I was so tan.  I just returned from a Caribbean cruise.  While I was sunning myself on the deck of the Carnival Dream, Eddie was trying to keep warm under a bridge.  While I was sending back my Spaghetti Carbonara because I didn’t like it, Eddie was looking through dumpsters for food.

I’m getting emails now from companies wanting to know how I liked their services.  One from Dollar rental car company wanted to know if I had to wait long at the counter.  Carnival wants to know how well we were treated by our Dining Room staff.  I’m certain that Jesus sent Eddie to remind me that Jesus is less concerned about how I am served, but more concerned with how I serve.  I’m sure we’ll take more extravagant vacations.  I’ll still waste money on things I don’t need.  I’ll throw food away because I don’t like it.  But I also know I’ll go looking under bridges a little more than I used to (which was never), maybe even under one of Eddie’s bridges.

This entry was posted in Hard times, Opportunity, Walking the Walk and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Living under the bridge

  1. Eileen White says:

    That was really a touching story about Eddie, I think all the time, especially when it’s raining and snowing real hard and the wind is howling,( and how blessed I am to have a comfy bed with flannel sheets and warm quilts) about all the people in New York in cardboard boxes, but I never have really thought about anyone locally sleeping in those conditions. It humbles me to know now that this happens locally. We need a warm blanket project, and more shelters.

  2. Eileen White says:

    This really set me to think of how I served. I grew up with everything. A life with all goodness. Even until this day I feel I have everything and anything a person could want. I don’t mean money. Just a happy life. But this blog got me to thinking. Yes I have served, but never out of my comfort zone.

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