I am consistently amazed at people. And, generally, I don't mean that in a nice way.
People can be so very mean. I'm sure this is a phrase that has been uttered over the years, from ancient times through now, and will be spoken again in the very distant future.
Yet, there is that streak of humanity, that sometimes quiet element around us, that presses forward, against all odds, to make a positive difference.
They work under the radar in professions that don't pay well, in jobs that aren't glamorous, under scrutiny, at times, for their very existence it seems. People just don't get why some think it is important work to work for the "unimportant".
In my next season of life, I'm pretty sure God is calling me to a job like that; one that works with the impoverished. I've had a passion for this since I was a little girl on a trip to New York with her family. A little girl who couldn't bear to eat her pizza when there was a man sitting on a collapsed box who was smelly and looked ashamed.
And even though he was one in a sea of homeless people in the cold that day, I'm not sure I'll ever forget the look of gratitude on that man's dirt-streaked face.
I don't understand those who can't at least pray for the person on the street corner holding up a sign. Much less, give him/her a few cents that, were it not given away, would probably be spent on an over-priced coffee anyway.
I realize not everyone has a passion for the homeless. Some of you prefer your missions work in remote parts of the world where famine and disease are part of everyday life. Where the American homeless looks fat, by comparison.
Others give by interpreting Bibles into other languages or by volunteering time on the local "library bus" that goes into the inner-city or by giving blood on a regular basis. Not every donation has to be monetary, I'm reminded.
The point is that we all give. In some way. At some time.
If you are like me, you might find yourself "bitten" by the giving bug the first time your heart is tugged and you release a little of yourself to someone else. It never ceases to amaze me how stinking good it feels to give, even though that really isn't the point.
Give it a little try this holiday season. In honor of someone you love. In thanksgiving for your life or your family or your job. In memory of someone who has gone before you and set you on a good path so you could give back in your time.
Because, like me, you might be amazed to find that people aren't so bad, after all.