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The door bell rang this morning, continuously, for what seemed like ten minutes.  I was exhausted after a 12 hour shift.  Dragging my still sleepy self out of bed, I went to the door to see who thought something was so important to continue ringing the bell.  As I pulled the door open, the man standing there started talking nervously, non-stop.  It took me a minute to realize that actually what he wanted was to do odd jobs to make some money.  Honestly, I have little patience for people waking me after I pull some crazy hours.  My response to this man was, “No, I do not have any odd jobs that need to be done, but thank you”, and shut the door.  After thinking what is wrong with people, I crawled back in bed to fall asleep again.

Upon awakening, I went downstairs to the kitchen.  Mother and Husband were talking quietly at the table.  As I poured a cup of caffeine to start my day, Husband told me that he had been outside and the “crazy” man who rang the door bell earlier walked back up the street, passing our house.  Apparently, one spoke to the other, and this led to a conversation revealing why this man was so “rudely” going around waking “exhausted” people.

What this man, tired from walking up and down streets and disheartened with impatient peoples’ responses, wanted,  was for someone to take the time to listen to his nervous rambling and understand he was in need.  Not asking for a free hand-out, but wanting to work for money, to help support his wife and baby.  He had just started a job, not getting paid until the upcoming Friday.  Husband, a compassionate man, and Mother, a very caring soul, decided to “find” a job for this man.

This proud man, who did not want a free hand-out, did an excellent job of raking leaves.

As I look at the seven lawn bags full of leaves, which will be set by the curb for pick-up, I am ashamed.  Not at the previous disarray of our lawn, but of myself.

This was a “day of rude awakening…for me”.  Today, a stranger and my amazing family, made me astutely aware of the importance of valuing everyone.  How important is it to actually take the time to listen to others?  One small, kind act towards one single person can affect how many others?  In this situation, this man’s wife and child.

Definitely an awakening by own Mother, Husband, and a complete stranger who I hope will forgive my rudeness.

Have you experienced a rude awakening in your life?