Perhaps you remember this post from right before school was out for the summer. Not too long after this happened, the gentleman disappeared from this corner. And since I was no longer getting off that exit during the summer, I had no idea what happened to him. But the first week of school, guess who was back? Actually, I'm not sure if this is the same guy. I tend to think it's not, but who knows.
Anyway, the minute Jenna saw him, she became obsessed with giving him money. I'm all about some money but those of you who know me know I NEVER have cash. NEV. ER. So, every morning the first week of school, Jenna would say, "Mama can I PLEASE give him some money?!" and I had to tell her I didn't have any. Well, right about the time school started, my sister sent Jenna $10 for her to buy herself a back-to-school treat. Jenna has carried that $10 around since she got it (actually I carried it around, but for her to spend when she found something). Monday she said "Mama. I wanna give that man on the side of the road my money." And being the stellar mother I am, I said, "You want to give your WHOLE $10?!" And she was like "Yeah". No hesitation. No looking back. Just YEAH. Why I have a hangup with her giving all she has says a lot about me and not a lot of things I like seeing in myself. Why can't I just give like that?
So as we are driving to school, she falls asleep and when we get to the exit, the light is green and she's asleep, I'm on the cell phone and so I didn't stop. She really fussed at me for not waking her up. But it's a busy intersection and the only safe thing to do would have been pull completely off the side of the road and I'm not sure that was even feasible without getting completely run over.
Tuesday morning, she wanted to eat breakfast out and so used her money to do that. She had 4 $1 bills left as change. I had the money out and waiting. And he wasn't there. And she was devastated. She didn't understand why he wasn't there when she wanted to give her money.
But on Wednesday morning, HE WAS THERE.
And the light was just turning red.
I was the first one at the light.
In the left lane right by him.
It was GO time.
Jenna was nervous but she opened the sliding door and said "excuse me!" And gave him all 4 of her dollars.
Just look at that smile. She was SO happy. She said, "I feel happy!" Oh my precious daughter. It is definitely not from me that you get this reckless abandon and deep concern for others. Thank God He is doing a WORK in you. Something I, in my imperfection, cannot teach you. And you know what her last words to me were?
"Look Mama! He's smiling! He's smiling!!"
Yes, yes he is. And so am I.