Big Life with Ray Waters Neal Campbell no

A few years ago, our church had a service centered around sharing a Thanksgiving meal with the poorest of the poor in our community. My wife was involved in all the preparations needed to make the day really special. When it concluded we had served about 500 people.  Jane was exhausted.  She said her goodbyes to the workers and loaded up her car with pots, pans and dishes.

Jane tells it better than me, so she will finish telling the story. “When I left the church I was extremely tired and so ready to get home after a long day of cooking, cleaning and serving. I had driven a few miles when I had to stop at a red light on a busy street. I saw a man out of the corner of my eye motioning for me from the sidewalk. This is not unusual; we have a lot of people who ask for handouts and I assumed that was what he wanted. Because I was so tired, I thought I would just ignore him and pretend I didn’t see him.  Let me insert here that it doesn’t offend me that men and women ask regularly for help from the sidewalks near our house. They are kind and I help them when I can. But I couldn’t help now! I had been working for hours trying to help the poor today!  As I sat at the red light, the man kept gesturing and I kept ignoring him.  I had my eyes glued on the road like I had blinders on. I prayed, dear God, when is this light going to turn green? I needed to drive on. The man continued, almost begging, for me to roll down my window.  Finally, I gave in, thinking I would say, I just can’t help any more today! Before I could say anything, the man, smiling, said to me, “Ma’am, you have a dish on top of your car.”

I put the car in park, got out and retrieved the dish. I thanked my new friend and laughed the rest of the way home.  Then I shared my story with Ray. I had learned a lesson. Sometimes people don’t want anything except to help you get your casserole dish off the top of your car.”

Big Lifers, what are you assuming today? It might be better for you to stop assuming now. My wife tells me, “Assumption is the mother of all foul-ups.” I believe she is right.  

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