Saturday, August 29, 2009

Shame on Me

I'm a little embarrassed by my selfishness today and in recent weeks, regarding a neighbor. I have mentioned this before. He's 80, a widower of one year, and must still work every day as a houseman in a hotel because of finances. He does his best. He drives over 15 miles each way, each day, in heavy traffic. He comes home, makes dinner for himself and his buddy-kitty. He buys money orders for his bills, does his own laundry and shopping.

Yet I grumble when I realize I need to do a few things for him, to make his life easier. What is wrong with me? It's not much, really. He buys money orders and once a week, I walk across to his mobile home, and I write out those money orders and pair them with their statements, stamp the envelopes. I don't even have to mail them. He does that.

True, I have been doing some paperwork for him as he prepares for bankruptcy in a month or so. And I occasionally make a call for him (his accent is thick and his English is good, but sometimes they don't understand him) regarding a bill, or a medical appointment, or whatever.

He is a good man. He does things for us, too. When he shops, he gives us an avocado, or half a pineapple, or six glazed donuts. Occasionally, he'll call me over after he comes home from work for some minor matter, or to dial a long distance number for him, or to figure out what a phone message is on his answering machine if they speak too quickly. At those times, I think he is a little lonely and just wants a human in there for a few minutes.

I think I know what is wrong. Although I'm not stupid and I know it's not very much that I do for him, the problem is simply that I hate changes in my routine. Heaven forbid anything messes with my routine (sigh). Sometimes, I think the Lord tosses a pebble in my path to make sure I am still watching as I walk, or he tosses a rock in front of me to make me even more aware of my surroundings.

Dear God, forgive my selfishness when you expect me to help some folks you place on my life's path; fill me with enough grace and charity to rejoice because you trust me to do these things for you!

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