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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Missed Opportunities

As I sat in Starbucks, sipping my Grande Non-fat Vanilla Latte and typing away at an email for work, a man pulled up on his bicycle.  He came inside, skipped the line for coffee and sat down across from me.  He had a backpack and a bigger fluffy coat.  Both looked well used.  He put his headphones on and chilled out for a while.  The guy had that "homeless look" - I know that's probably really bad of me or something, but I know you know what I'm talking about.  And I certainly don't mean that to be derogatory either.

After a while, he pulled out a plastic bottle of something and a razor and walked to the bathroom.  Coming back a little smoother faced than before, my earlier assumptions of homelessness were more or less proven.  As he sat back down, I really felt like I should talk to this guy or at least offer to buy him a coffee and bite to eat.  "Ok, as soon as I finish my work, I'll talk to him," I thought.  That's the responsible AND thoughtful thing to do, right...offer the guy some food, but after I finish my work.

A few more minutes of typing go by and a friend's dad walked in that I hadn't seen in a while.  We chatted for a while, exchanging baby stories - cute, I know.  But while I was catching up, the homeless man got up and left.  I remember watching him, thinking "no, no you can't leave!  I'm not done with my emails yet!"  But it would also be rude to excuse myself politely from the chit chat to offer a homeless man a drink and bite to eat, right??  Rude or not (more not), I missed the opportunity to bless that man.

I still feel horrible that I didn't interrupt my work for a few minutes to offer that man some food and maybe a couple of minutes of conversation.  I really felt like I was supposed to talk to that guy.  And who knows what it would have meant to him for someone to buy him a cup of Joe and give him a couple minutes of time.

I wonder how often we go about our day and miss opportunities like this to bless others.  I really hope I see that man again, but I likely wont.  Funny thing is after I finished my work, I went to the bookstore to read and found a book by Max Lucado again and he has a prayer ending one of the chapters:
O Lord, what an amazing opportunity you have spread out before me - a chance to make a difference for you in a desperately hurting world.  Help me to see the needs you want me to see, to react in a way that honors you, and to bless others by serving them gladly with practical expressions of your love.
Notice the "react" part in did I.

Where's your next opportunity!?  Don't miss it!  And certainly don't let it walk away from you!

Random factoid:
There are 10 human body parts that are only 3 letters long.  Name them (without google).

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