the blessing

Tonight a woman approached me in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
She looked kind of like my mother.

As Shaun returned the cart, and I tried to buckle one of my children in, she asked me for money. She explained that she had to leave her husband and was living in her van, but was having engine trouble.

I checked my pockets and came up empty handed.
I found a few small bills in the console and handed them to her.
She thanked me for sharing.
She also said “God bless you”.

Almost every time I have given someone money, or bought them gas or groceries or food. They have that response.
“God bless you”
It is like they are in on some secret that the rest of us don’t always get.

Maybe she was lying. Maybe she was going to buy drugs.

But she looked so broken. I hated that I only had a few bucks to give her. I saw her move along to the next person quietly telling her story and humbly asking for help.

I knew I should have done more. Driven her to some shelter. Taken her inside and bought her something to eat. Heck, maybe I should have taken her home.

But by the time my kids were buckled safely in their carseats she was gone.
I had missed my chance.
I missed my blessing.