Both Sides of the Window

Have you ever been hungry?

Like “worried about what you were going to eat or where your next meal would come” from kind of hungry?

I feel really lucky that I don’t really know what that’s like.

Sure, in my early 20’s, when I was trying to make it on my own and scraping to get by, my grocery money was pretty tight.

I had my fair share of peanut butter sandwiches and Ramen noodles, but I always had something to eat.

Heck, even a couple of years ago, our money was slim and we had to eat eggs 3 meals a day for 2 weeks until pay day arrived, but we ate.

It really bothers me that other people, for whatever reasons, may be hungry and without options.

A couple of months ago, I wrote a story called “Over Cookies” about an experience I had while taking meals to my friend who’d just lost her mom. (You can read it here, if you like.)

On the way to her house, I saw a man standing by the road with a sign.

He was one lane over and up a bit from me, and I watched as he stared into the car right next to him.

When he got no response, he looked down, and I nearly wept.

I’ve seen that happen before, one staring in and one staring straight ahead. What an extremely difficult position for both people to be in.

Can you imagine being so hungry that the only choice is to stand on a corner with a sign hoping someone will look your way and offer something, anything?

Can you imagine sitting in your vehicle at that stoplight, knowing someone is staring in at you, but having nothing to offer them?

Wednesday we were pulling up to a stop sign where a gentleman was standing and holding a “homeless and hungry” sign.

There was a truck in front of me, so I totally expected to see him looking into that truck.

For some reason he wasn’t.

His steel blue eyes were looking into mine, at me!

That threw me a bit sideways, I mean, that was totally new. I’d never seen anyone looking in the 2nd vehicle back.

It’s like that “you’re up” call, when you’re not quite ready. I scrambled a bit and grabbed a box of date/ nut bars I just bought and handed it to him.

Later, when I thought about why he wasn’t looking into the truck ahead of me, I had some revelations.

Maybe he did, didn’t get a response, and I just missed it.

Or, what if the light hit the glass just right and it reflected back an image that was just too hard for him to see?

A couple nights ago, I caught this reflection on my truck in our driveway and I realized something.

Maybe sometimes we just don’t know what other people are going through and just maybe there’s a story on both sides of the window.

33 thoughts on “Both Sides of the Window

  1. Bailey September 2, 2016 / 9:20 am

    your amazing xxxx i love this so much

    • Jessica September 2, 2016 / 10:34 am

      Oh my goodness… Hand on heart here… Bless you. 💜

      • Bailey September 2, 2016 / 6:08 pm


  2. Miriam September 2, 2016 / 9:22 am

    Oh, so true Jessica. It’s a sad and hard world out there and we never truly know what others are going through, but it takes kindness, compassion and action to take it that step further and make a difference. Which you did. Lovely post my friend. xo

    • Jessica September 2, 2016 / 10:39 am

      Hi Miri. I just love you. So much! You’re so right, sometimes the world seems so hard.

      But, something else I’m realizing is, some days I might not have anything to offer someone, but the car behind me might have something. Or, the car next to me might not believe in helping others, but maybe a car 3 back might live to help others.

      So in a way, it’s like we almost carry each other and in that, we are able to help those who need it.

      Love that!

      • Miriam September 2, 2016 / 4:52 pm

        I absolutely love that idea Jess and you’re right. We can’t always give but we can definitely pass it on so others that can help have the opportunity to. :)
        Oh, and by the way, love you too girl. ♥ xo

        • Jessica September 2, 2016 / 4:55 pm

          You’re so brilliant. I love that. Live and give so that others will see it and do the same!!

          • Miriam September 2, 2016 / 5:04 pm

            Absolutely ♥

          • Jessica September 2, 2016 / 5:14 pm

            PS Mailed your card today🌻

          • Miriam September 2, 2016 / 5:44 pm

            Oh, thank you Jess. ♥

          • Jessica September 2, 2016 / 6:10 pm

            Super late…

          • Miriam September 2, 2016 / 8:27 pm

            No such thing … :)

          • Jessica September 2, 2016 / 8:33 pm


          • Jessica September 2, 2016 / 5:14 pm

            $1.15 will cross the ocean. So cool!

          • Miriam September 2, 2016 / 5:46 pm

            Wish it was that cheap for you to fly here. :) But yes, I agree, very cool. It will be lovely to get something personal from you. Can’t wait! xo

          • Jessica September 2, 2016 / 6:11 pm

            Oh man, I wish flights were that cheap!! We’d be on our way! Maybe someday!

          • Miriam September 2, 2016 / 8:28 pm

            Never say never :)

          • Jessica September 2, 2016 / 8:35 pm

            That’s exactly right! I never thought I’d even have a reason to go to Australia. That changed after I started asking about your mum, all those months ago… ❤️

          • Miriam September 3, 2016 / 4:36 am

            I know what you mean. In some ways that feels like a lifetime ago … how strange. ♡

  3. Mrs Strawberry Blonde September 2, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    You’re one of the most thoughtful and compassionate persons I’ve ever known. ♥♥♥

    • Jessica September 2, 2016 / 8:01 pm

      Ooohhhhh myyyyy. You made my heart bubble over.

  4. thechickengrandma September 2, 2016 / 8:52 pm

    I love the line you end with that there is a story on both sides of the window. I think we often forget that there are more stories than the obvious one. I think we also forget that those in need are opportunities for those of us that “have” to give and share. Great reminder!

    • Jessica September 2, 2016 / 9:15 pm

      Hi. Thank you so much. I love what you said about there being more stories than the obvious one. It does seem easy to forget to dig a little deeper, when our eyes tell us one thing.

      I also LOVE your word: opportunities! That’s a fabulous way to look at it. What a gift to be able to lift someone up! Thank you so much!

  5. karenlee September 4, 2016 / 5:29 pm

    From what I have seen and learned about you, this is Classic Jess. Don’t ever stop being you. <3

    • Jessica September 4, 2016 / 6:19 pm

      Oh my goodness… Got me all speechless here. I love that “Classic Jess”. I’m SOOOOOOO glad you like this. I’ve had writer’s block for weeks. Then, this fell out. Thank you, my friend!

  6. Weird Guy With The Dog September 4, 2016 / 7:02 pm

    I once bought food for the cats I used to have, and nothing for me for two days I was so broke. They were dependent on me and know way was I going to make them go without.

    • Jessica September 4, 2016 / 7:53 pm

      Oooooh my gosh!!!! Now THAT is some love. What lucky cats. I admire you so much anyway, but now extra for that.

  7. Gameplan Happily Ever After September 12, 2016 / 9:51 pm

    Amazing post Jessica. So much of compassion in there. Proud to know gems like you in the blogging world dear <3

    • Jessica September 13, 2016 / 3:59 am

      Thanks, sweetie. I was trying to get some exposure on this one- tried to get Kindness Blog to give it a look… But, no reply. :)

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