PearsApproaching 2015 with Gratitude

Laying in my warm dry bed this morning (as the rain pelted down in near freezing temperatures), I was reflecting on what a blessing it is to actually have a bed!  You see, I have a friend who lives in town who doesn’t have a bed.  In fact, he doesn’t even have a home.  His name is Robert and he is a living example of gratitude.

When I first met Robert it was summertime and he was standing outside of the grocery store holding up a sign.  My husband and I had just picked several buckets of pears that afternoon in an old abandoned orchard nearby.  We had plenty to share.  I rolled down my window and asked this homeless man if he’d like some pears.  You know what he said to us? —Pears?  I love pears! —with all the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas!

Here’s a man who’s been homeless for over 20 years following his service in Vietnam.  He’d seen the worst of the worst in this world, and yet he still carried the light of gratitude in his heart.  What an example.  If Robert can be grateful for life’s little gifts, so can I.  Instead of feeling sorry for Robert, I choose to be inspired by him, and  I honor his suffering with gratitude.

That was two years ago and we’ve kept in touch with Robert.  He gave us his cell phone number (yes, even the homeless have cell phones!) and we contact him from time to time when we’re coming to town.  We usually arrange a time and place to meet him to give him food, clothes, or just to say hi.  He’s told us some wild stories, and we’ve listened.  Robert is still homeless this New Year’s and I am still touched.