Bless My Heart

Did you ever notice how Christmas seems like a great time to think about every-single-little-tiny one of our blessings? 

  • Family? Blessing.
  • Children? Blessing.
  • House? Blessing.
  • Heat? Blessing. 
  • Vehicle? Blessing.
  • Gas for the vehicle? Blessing. 
  • A warm place to sleep? Blessing. 
  • Being able to use a bathroom that’s not in a public building because there aren’t any private bathrooms on the street? Blessing. 
  • Food on the table? Blessing. 
  • A visit from Santa Claus? Blessing. 

A few days before Christmas, I went to the store in our small town. When leaving the store, I saw a man who was holding a sign, standing on the corner. 

We’ve lived in the town 15 years and there’s only been less than 10 times I’ve ever seen someone with a sign and because it’s a rare occasion here, I notice. 

For a few weeks, I’d had some money in my back pocket, I wasn’t spending it, just had it there. I pulled up and gave him my offer of a few bucks. He was beyond grateful. As he walked back towards the curb, I asked him what his sign said. 

“Need propane and a blanket.”

My heart broke. A blanket? Someone needs a blanket? You know what I mean? How many extra blankets do we have in a closet that rarely get used? 

I reached back in my pocket. 

That night our furnace started making racket. The times it happened before left us with no heat. Uh oh. The low forecasted for that night? 7 degrees. 

Thinking that the furnace would go out in the middle of the night, I was soooooo thankful for the blankets we have. I scrambled them all together and piled them on the bed. 

We didn’t lose our heat and our kind repairman arrived in the morning and fixed the furnace. 

Fast forward to Christmas Eve. We were up at my parents and Santa needed some batteries for Christmas morning. I went 20 miles to Iowa to get them. When I left the store, something caught my eye. 

On the corner by the stoplight was a mom with 2 little boys, who were blowing bubbles. A pretty joyous thing to see on Christmas Eve, until I saw her sign. 

I’m not exactly sure what the whole thing said, but what I saw was “I have 3 children and need food.”

I had $10, so I went to the dollar store. I did pretty darn good with that ten bucks. 10 packages of cookies in one box for $1. 2 cans of soup for $1.20. 2 packages of crackers for $2. A box of cereal for $1. And, 3 of those red handled plastic candy canes with candy in them for $3. Grand total? $9 and some change. 

I drove back to where she was and told her I had something for her. She had only one question. 

“Food?”

I handed her the stuff I bought. I don’t know if it’s a mom thing, but just looking into her eyes, there just seemed to be an understanding, you know? You never want your babies hungry. 

English clearly wasn’t her native language, but I’m sure what she did say, will stay with me always and forever. It was genuine, heartfelt, and simple:

“Bless my heart.”


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