My friend Venansia is leaving this week. I will miss her. She’s taught me many things. One of the best examples happened about 2 months ago, on a Sunday afternoon. I was hoping to have some extra time to do what I wanted that day, since I don’t get a lot of ‘me’ time. Venansia called and asked if I could take her to the grocery store. With her limited English I understood “Go Winco…no food house…no ride”. I knew she was managing life for herself and her grandson on her own these days, so I gave up my ‘me’ time and agreed to take her to the store.

Venansia had her grandson with her, and they had their own money, so we separated and did our own shopping when we got to the store. We finished shopping and made it back to the car about the same time. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, Venansia noticed a man standing on the corner with a sign. She said, “Homeless,” and she reached for her purse.  She motioned to me to roll down the window and gave the man $2.

As we drove away, it struck me how different my response to the man was from hers. I looked at him and judged him, wondering to myself if he really was homeless and why he wasn’t working and thinking that he probably was trying to make himself look needy so he wouldn’t have to work for the money. Venansia looked at him and saw someone who was needier than her. Giving the man money was really an act of worship for her—a thank you to God that she had money to buy food, was going home to a warm apartment, and she didn’t have to stand outside in the freezing cold.

God bless you in your new home Venansia. Thanks for teaching me about grateful living.