It was a dark image one could barely make any out of. It moved and took a step onto a wet pavement, then another towards many lights criss-crossed from many automobiles reluctantly waiting at a red light. The image formed into a man gently making its way in this short journey. I saw him on my left and as he eases through my head turns following his movement.
As bright lights shone on him I noticed his gloomy face. His hair thickened with dirt and smokes, layers of worn out clothes provide warmth. Shoes might have seen many battles and hands wrestled many challenges.
At some point my heart searched for love.
Loved less or un-loved?
I couldn’t help but wonder if he ever had a chance to feel loved and be cared for? Maybe he had – plenty. But, maybe not recently. Love wanting. Like a dried up ground longing for some fresh water. Or, a butterfly aimlessly hovering over a sea of grass with no single flower in sight.
But then it made me realize, maybe it was love that he selflessly and profusely gave. His worn out clothes are perhaps hiding the scars he gained from the many battles of love. He might have unleashed love like no other. Like a broken wall on a dam furiously releasing thunderous and raging waters to dried up lands. Or, a butterfly’s incessant kisses to a newly bloomed sunflower facing the rising sun.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the many, many people who loved me for who I am and believed in me. I am also thankful for those weary hands that so lovingly sacrificed their strengths so I could be strong when I am weak. I am thankful for my heroes whose generosity and kindness molded my belief that tolerance and care are two secret weapons for peace.
The light has turned green and the man has, once again, vanished into the darkness. As I pressed the gas pedal of my car, I whispered a prayer for him. I also made a commitment to make sure every day is living out my thanks by finding opportunities to be the loving hands to those who are un-loved or loved less, be the strength to those who are weak, to be more tolerant of others, and to care for the world our Heavenly Parent has provided for all.
This article was originally posted on Facebook on 11/23/11, a day before Thanksgiving.
Special thanks to my friend Ricky Mandagan for the feature image.