Last Saturday I rang the Salvation Army Bell at the Wal-mart on Grantline Road for an hour. (the whole day was people from church).
It was a great time to observe people, and see things I didn't really want to, but some that absolutely made my day.
As any of you who know me know, when it comes to emotions I don't hold anything back. I can cry at just about anything, usually it has to do with children or other people being mistreated, or seeing people do incredible things out of love. I am a happy and a sad cryer. I did A LOT of crying between 3-4 on Saturday.
As I was walking through the parking lot to the stand, I walked past a group of people consisting a lady probably in her 40's, a small child of 5 or 6, and an older women maybe in her 60's. The younger lady was pushing the cart (very full) with the child in it when one of the bags fell out of the cart. She started yelling, about how her "fucking egss were broken and maybe if she had some help and if someone would watch their own fucking kid this wouldn't happen". Ecch it makes my heart hurt just recalling it.
I stood there and rang the bell and watched people walk past me, doing their best job to avoid eye contact. I stood there ringing the bell and cried.
I cried for the people who were able to give and did, I cried for the people who were able to give and didn't, for those who weren't able to give but did anyway. I cried when parents would come out yelling and cussing at their kids. I cried for those who where having a good time with their families. I cried and wondered if any of the families who walked past me where maybe some of my angels that I had collected from the Angel Tree.
I prayed. I prayed for everyone who gave, for everyone who didn't. I prayed that they all had a great Christmas/holiday season, and that they got to spend time with their families if that's what they wanted. I prayed that they would all be warm and well fed.
I laughed too. I laughed at the older men who wore santa hats. I laughed at snippets of conversations that I heard. I laughed at the teen-boppers who refused to wear jackets, and wore the most revealing clothing even though it was FREEZING out! I laughed at myself for crying at everything.
I laughed about how when I told people that I was going to ring the bell, they acted like it was some big act of kindness, when really it's not, and it's the least I could do to help people for the holiday season.
So maybe, if you get a chance to ring the bell next holiday season, or even this year. You will take it. Take the hour out of your oh-so busy life and do something for someone else. Take the time to think about everything you have to be grateful for, and what things you would change if you could. Take the time to rejoice in the season, even if you are opposed to nativity scenes in public and writing out Christmas and replacing it with an X., just take your time.
Great... I am crying again...