This afternoon after our Sister Circle was over at Daybreak, I saw my friend Mr. B sitting in one of the comfortable chairs in the gathering area. He waved me over. I was glad to see him. He had heart surgery before Christmas and wasn’t able to get his medicine filled until January 1. (Oh the things we take for granted.) He smiled his wonderful smile and asked about my Fella. They became good friends when the Sunday night suppers were being served each week.
The last time I saw him he was staying at one of the overnight shelters. I asked him how he was doing, and he said he was still staying there.
“I’m okay, though. I don’t mind it at all. You know, I was thinking about this the other day. You know how when Jesus was here? Walking around on this earth?”
“Yessir.” I nodded.
“Well, think about this. Everything around him was His, belonged to Him. EveryONE around him belonged to Him really. But the Son of Man had no—”
“place to lay his head.” We finished together.
We both nodded.
Mr. B continued. “So then, who am I to want stuff? When God’s son Jesus didn’t even have anything to his name, why should I spend my life wanting stuff? Why shouldn’t I be okay where I am?”
It was more than a good sermon. What he didn’t realize was he was calling me out. Me, who does love her GW Boutique bargains and who spends way too much energy mooning over pretty scarves and cool handmade jewelry and things I have no real need for. Who has a hard time letting go of “stuff” that has a story behind it. I stood there looking him in his precious face and thinking of how I have failed and how much I want to have the heart this man has. A heart not weighted down by stuff.
It was a surreal afternoon. When some of my friends who live in their “camp” close by asked what the weather is expected to do the next few days, I looked it up on the Weather Channel App. My heart sank as they groaned at the lows the next couple of nights. As we said goodbye, we waved once more, and then headed across town.
But it might as well have been to another world. So much of my life is filled with this grotesque contrast between the world of the “haves and the have nots.” I found myself sitting in a lovely office with amazing chairs listening to someone who knows how to handle finances and all of that “stuff.” As we visited, the word “stuff” came up. He laughed and asked if we had heard George Carlin talk about “stuff.” I have. This comedian described our houses as piles of stuff with tops on them. That we have to lock so no one will come in and get our “stuff.” And when we run out of space for our “stuff,” we have to buy a bigger place to hold our “stuff.” The funniest part to me is when he mentions that there is a whole industry devoted to taking care of our “stuff.” *sigh* Funny but sad. Because it’s true.
Tonight I’m thankful for a friend who knows what it is like to be satisfied where he is. He is not wanting more stuff. I want his focus and faith and heart. And I want to share it with my children. Christmas is not even a month gone, and I’ve already heard a want or two. I am ashamed to share that. It breaks my heart. Did they learn that from me?
I want to raise children who are thankful and satisfied–to be adults who are thankful and satisfied…..and not always wanting “the next big thing” or “more stuff.” I could blame it on the commercial and advertising we are exposed to, but in reality, I know it’s not completely their fault. I need to set an example of a grateful heart and a satisfied soul. Like my parents did before me. Live simply within my means and be thankful and take care of what I do have. That’s what I want for my children as well.
Tonight I am thankful for those around me who show me what it’s like to be satisfied, and I’m thankful for the stuff I do have…..but I really want to let go of the wants and focus on the good of where I am right now. Wherever that might be.
Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. Luke 9:58 NIV