Latte_art_in_a_Starbucks_Coffe_ShopI ran into my neighbour the other day at Starbucks. He lives alone and has been on government assistance because of a disability for most of his life. I have wondered how he makes ends meet, especially with the recent increase in food prices.

“Have seat,” he said and pushed a chair toward me. “Been shopping?”

“Yeah. I can’t believe how much these fruits and vegetables cost.” I took off my loaded backpack and sat down.

“They sure are expensive,” he said. In our conversation I learned where he shopped to get the best deals. “I eat pretty simply–oatmeal for breakfast, beans, rice and vegetables for supper.”

“What’s the highlight of your week?”

He smiled. “My roast chicken dinner Fridays and coming here for coffee. I like getting out; I meet some pretty interesting people.”

“You know, if you register your Starbucks card, you get free coffee on your birthday.”

“At Christmas, I got a bunch of coffee cards from my family and one from a friend at church. His note said, ‘You’re always making coffee for us, I thought you might enjoy drinking some yourself.’  I thought the card might have ten dollars on it. But it had fifty! I could hardly believe it. Between him and my family, I’m set for the year.”

As I got up to go, I remembered to tell him where he could get Cobs bread for free on Saturday mornings.

“They make good bread,” he said. “But, on Saturday mornings, I like to go out for coffee   then treat myself to lunch, so I don’t think I will. But thanks for telling me about it.”

I offered to save some for him the next time Fred and I were asked to pick it up.

“I like the seedy loaf.” But after he thought more about it, he said, “That’s okay. I likely wouldn’t be able to eat it before it goes bad. I would have already bought the bread I need for the week, and I only have a small freezer in my fridge. But, I’ll keep it in mind.”

He hugged me goodbye. “Peace be with you,” he said.

“And with you.”

Half way home I realized: I had just assumed that because my neighbour is on Disability, he doesn’t have enough and could use my help to get more. But he is at peace with his life and generously shares that peace with me.

hands reaching out little star

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding and my entire will
–all that I have and call my own.
You have given it all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours, do with it as you will.
Give me only your love and your grace.
That is enough for me.
–Ignatius of Loyola

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

Love by Dustin Gaffke

Erik is a father of two young boys. He has been a stay-at-home dad for five years. I asked him if he enjoyed it. “Oh, yes. I love it,” he said. “Sure, my wife and I miss the old days when we had more money and just did whatever we wanted. But it’s all right; we have enough.” Erik and his family have discovered: when we are content with what we have, there’s more time for those we love.

What love mischief are you and God doing to care for the earth?
 Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
Latte Art in a Starbucks Coffee Shop” from Wikimedia Commons.
“Reaching Out” by little*star. Used with permission.
“Love” by Dustin Gaffke. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2016.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Ignatian Spirituality, Spiritual Direction, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Assumptions

  1. Thelma Siglos says:

    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael Cook says:

    I like this post very much, it chimes with a lot of my well-meaning behaviour towards friends and strangers, whose needs are not always what I assume them to be. Or who perhaps need to give me something…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sylvia says:

    Thanks for highlighting that we still are individuals and that your friend has a wealth of a different kind 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dave Small says:

    Excellent post. Thanks Esther.


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