Hello, House of Shine! Cheryl here.
On January 19, Claudia wrote about two women who were experiencing a SHINE Movement
by sending each other pictures of things that were yellow. Things that SHINED
At the end of Claudia's post she asked, "How about you?"
I'll admit I was jealous. Why didn't I think about that? Why didn't I send my friends pictures of yellow things that SHINED? Or hearts to say I love you. And, more importantly, how was I SHINING? I actually struggled with what my contribution was.
I came up with the fact that I shared a smile, a wave, a prayer and sometimes a couple of bucks with a homeless man (that's my own assumption) that I became connected (I use the term loosely). Do you remember when we practiced 29 Gifts
That homeless man was my first gift. I gave him two dollars that I pulled from my purse.
I continued seeing him on the corner of I35 and Oak Lawn on my way to work every morning. One morning I asked him his name. His name is Robert.
Robert looks like any homeless person you might see but he has these bright blue eyes. Bright blue eyes that smile at me.
I remembered reading something some where that homeless people lose a sense of value because people refuse to look them in the eyes. We avoid their eyes because we don't want to give them money or maybe we feel guilty or maybe it just hurts too much to see someone else suffering.
So I decided that yes, sometimes I will give him a dollar or two (or ten that one day that's all I had) but I will always, always offer my eye contact, smile and a wave. On the days that the light was green and he didn't see me, I offered up a prayer of safety.
Robert always gives me a thumbs up as if to say, "It's all going to be okay." I came to look forward to this time in the morning when I get to see Robert.
After the January 19th post, I thought about my SHINE and while driving home I realized that yeah, I was SHINING by offering my little bit of kindness but the true person that SHINED was Robert. He gave me the thumbs up telling me that it was all going to be okay. I realized that I had received so much more than I had given.
And then it happened.
Robert hasn't been on the corner of I35 and Oak Lawn for a couple of months now.
Haven't I prayed that he be safe and wouldn't it be safer for him to be off the streets and isn't that where I hoped he was?
But selfishly, I miss my morning SHINE. The not knowing if Robert is safe breaks my heart a little. But, at the same time, I feel completely blessed for having experienced his SHINE.
Sometimes, we find SHINE in unexpected places. Sometimes, we give little and receive much in return.
So today I am asking, How about you? Where have you received unexpected SHINE?
Signing off until...