A Reminder to be Thankful

A woman carrying a large stack of newspapers, dressed in dowdy clothing, and looking tired and worn stood in front of me.

"Could I have a job application?"Her voice lacked any enthusiasm and no smile graced her face.

“Sure.” I handed her a small packet. “We don’t have openings at this location, but I’ll send your application to our HR department at our corporate office. You can bring it back later, or take a seat and fill it out while you’re here.”

She opted to complete the application on site and I pointed to a seat where she could fill out the papers. Later, after she turned them in, she slumped out the door, probably to catch a bus or walk the streets, seeking possible job opportunities.

I scanned her information. Any form of education she’d attempted, traditional or technical, had never been completed. She’d never worked at one job for more than several months and the reasons for leaving or being asked to leave seemed trivial. I forwarded her application to our HR department, just as I promised, knowing there would be no way she would be hired.

After a rough day, I returned home with knots in my neck and shoulders. Dinner simmered in the crock-pot, thanks to my husband, so I was free to have a little time to myself.

I climbed into the hot tub on our deck and sunk into the warm, soothing water. Tensed up muscles began to relax. The sky clouded over and without the sun’s blaring light, the colors surrounding me became even more vivid. Details of the pine, birch, and cheery trees were striking. The sound of water flowing over the sides of the fountain in the yard added to the peaceful feeling. I had a refuge at the end of a not-so-good day. A place where I could relax and let stress slip away.

The eyes of the woman I’d seen earlier came to mind. Eyes that lacked joy or hope. And I wondered if she had a refuge of any kind. How was she spending her time that evening? What had caused her life to become so erratic? What were the real reasons for not finishing anything she started?

I looked around me.

My day had been a nightmare, but I was still blessed in so many ways. I said a prayer of thanks.

The woman had been a reminder of how much I had to be thankful for. I don’t ever want to lose sight of that.


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