Giving Life

Everyday at work there is a homeless man that comes to collect the cans from our recycling bin. One of the women who works here, collects some of her cans for him so he doesn't have to dig through the guck to get to what he really desires.  I've watched this interaction for about 8 months now and I always thought it was a kind gesture on her part to even think about that. He doesn't bother anyone, he usually just uses the restroom, collects his cans and does the same thing the next day. 

But, just recently I noticed that his routine has another element to it that I completely missed until recently.  Outside of our offices there is a tiny sapling that has been sitting there since I started working.  I don't know who's it is or why it sits outside (it most definitely is an indoor tiny tree), but it just hangs out on our planters in the courtyard in it's bowl.  Yesterday I noticed that this man brings his plastic cup that he uses daily to get water from our water fountains and filled up the cup walked over and watered this little tree.  He then sat next to it while he rested, probably from walking Claremont all day.  He just sits next to it, admires it, "feeds" it and goes on his way.  

I don't really know why I'm writing this blog on him (this could have been PPT), but it made me stop to think about why he does it.  Maybe it's his way of giving back, maybe the tree is the only living thing that he relates with as it doesn't talk, doesn't really have a personality, but....it does react to his personal touch.  He waters the tree and the tree responds by growing and living. This is his "thing" to take care of something and he obviously takes great pride in it.  

It made me truly think this morning as I headed up the stairs, past the tiny tree that even those who have nothing materially find a way to give to something.  I know if this tree had words it would thank this man for his kindness in feeding it.  It was this simplistic gesture that prompted a much more in depth look at how we give as people.  

How much more than are we called to give, based on the fact that in comparison we have plenty?

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