Monday, June 12, 2017

A Story of Grace

Dear Fellow Blogpost Readers,

Its been a couple of weeks since I wrote a blog post.  Sorry about that!

I've been juggling many things lately, not the least of which is a move to another house which our family now finds ourselves in the middle of.  Also, I'm beginning the writing of my dissertation for my Doctoral project, and my book proposal (WITH) has now been submitted to the publishers.  Oh, and did I mention that school is now out for the summer.  To say that we are busy, in the Baird household, would be an understatement.

I was thinking about taking a couple of weeks away from my blog, but decided, that I missed not writing it, and several of you have contacted me that you have missed not reading my post.  Also, I did want to take a moment in the middle of all of this bustle to relate a real story of grace and kindness that happened to me recently.


So, it was a Monday morning, and my job for the day was to pack up several boxes and to take care of Ewan (my 10 month old for the day), before picking up the two girls from school.  Our garbage gets taken away every Monday, so I took the cans to the curb the night before.

About 10:00 in the morning I heard a knock on the front door.  I wasn't expecting any visitors, Ewan had just gone down for his morning nap, and so the knock on the door was a bit of a surprise.  When I answered the door, a man in a green jump suit with a patch that said, "City Sanitation Services" was standing there.  "Do you live here?" he asked.  "Yes, I do."  "Did you lose your wallet?"  I quickly frisked the outsides of my pockets and found that my wallet was, in fact, not there.

"Oh my goodness, yes I did," I said in a concerned voice.  "Well, here it is!" said the man standing in the door.  "I found it right next to the garbage cans outside, on the street and I wanted to bring it up to you."  The man in the green jump suit extended his huge, dirty, mitt-sized hand with my black wallet inside of it.  "Thank you SOO much," I said.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  Instinctively, I reached inside my wallet to offer the man a tip for his kindness.  "Oh, no, that's fine," he said,  "I'm just glad you got wallet back.  I've got to run!  I'm late in picking up the garbage cans today."  As the garbage man ran back to his truck which was idling on the curb, I yelled; "Ok, well thank you again, I can't thank you enough."

I was dumbfounded at this man's, this - "garbage man's"- kindness to me.  In a move of caution I quickly looked in my wallet to see that everything was still there.  Now, here's the thing.  As a child of my generation, I never carry cash.  But because I did a funeral the weekend before, and a generous parishioner had given me $100 for a funeral that I conducted, I was carrying a very large bill.  Incredibly, all of the money, my credit cards, and other personal items were still there.

Ever since the occurrence, what I am now calling "wallet-gate", I have been thinking about the immensity of the act of kindness that this kind garbage man had bestowed upon me.  Here is a man, I thought to myself, who was behind the ball in his morning duties.  He probably doesn't get paid more than $10 an hour.  And yet he took time out of his schedule to bring a wallet to the door of a person he had never met.  How easy it would have been for him to just take the $100 bill, and throw the wallet back on the ground.  How easy it would have been for him to ring the doorbell, leave the wallet, but not wait for me to answer.

And I confess that I have sometimes looked at people who perform the more menial tasks in our society with a slight heir of condescension and superiority.  But no more!  Whenever I see a "Sanitation Engineer" working hard at what he does in another setting, I will remember the extreme act of kindness that this perfect stranger showed me.

And I will also remember that no matter how busy I get, I should always have time to offer a simple and graceful act of kindness!

All For Now,


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