I have always given. It normally wasn't much, but it was something. It started when I was young. The picture in my mind is as clear as a photograph.
"Hand me my wallet", my mom said softly as we approached a stop sign off an exit somewhere in Pennsylvania. We had just visited my grandparents and we're making the 6 hour trip back home. We were tired, we were cranky, and we were hungry. No one really made a move for mom's purse. Again she asked, but this time with a little more demand in her voice. My dad argued and in the end he finally said no. What my sister and I didn't know was that they weren't arguing over who was going to pay for dinner.
We approached the stop sign and my mom whipped around, grabbed her purse, and proceeded to grab a handful of cash. She rolled her window down and she handed it to the man with the sign.
I studied the guy; average height and weight, scruffy beard, tired brown eyes. He wore a hat that at some point was probably white and a grey t-shirt. He blessed my mom and we were off.
As we pulled away my parents continued their argument. It was the argument that as I got older I also faced within myself. Can you trust that he's really homeless? Is he going to use the money for good or evil? Why should I help him, what has he done to help himself?
My mom's answer was simple: You don't know. As we ate our McDonald's, mom explained that you don't know how people will use what you give them but you pray that it is for good.
My mom has continued with just that. She is always helping others and donates when she can. She reminds us that it wasn't too long ago when we were also at a point in our lives where we had to reach out and ask for help. And people, not knowing us, gave. Now that we're older and have been blessed with more than enough, she believes in giving as much as she can. And, I do too.
We are our parents, the good and the bad. Luckily, I think I took away far more good from my parents then the bad. So, when people stop to thank me for what I do, I need to also stop and thank my parents. You taught me well. Everything I do is because of you. Thank you!