The world is spinning faster, the news a steady diet of horror and awfulness. I can't help but feel overwhelmed and helpless about it all. When I hit that spot where I am searching for hope, I start with one of the foundations of my faith as I learned it: Help others. Being of service, is an immediate fix for that low place. I can't fix all the troubles, but starting where I am, I can do something.
As I circled the lot looking for that always elusive Trader Joe's parking spot, I noticed a young family off to the side. A man, two small children, and a woman with a baby on her lap, sat on the curb. There was a handmade sign with something about a lost job and needing food and work. The man was playing the accordion. I parked and made my way back to them. I introduced myself and then spoke to the woman.
"Let's go shopping."
She picked out soap and chicken and toilet paper and milk and potatoes and peanut butter and eggs and bread. There was cheese and jam and yogurt and canned tuna and tomatoes and butter and olive oil and more. Her son picked out a watermelon. Her daughter picked out a bar of chocolate.
I paid. We hugged each other tight as we both welled up. We promised to pray for each other.
I know I got the better end of this deal.