Today I went out to pick up a few things from the food store and a man in line, around 60, was talking to the woman behind him. It was obvious they knew each other. The woman asked the man about his plans for Thanksgiving and he said that he did not know yet what he was doing. She giggly teased him about not getting invited to someone's house (in general). He, in a more serious tone, said that indeed he had not been invited yet. He commented that perhaps he would find his invitation at The Hotel (a local bar) tonight.
I was sure that the woman would end up extending an invitation to the man... a simple... well you are always welcome at our house... but she did not.
I seriously thought about inviting him to our Thanksgiving. Even after I left I almost went back into the store to invite him... but I did not.
I could list reason after reason that I should not have invited him, but I will be reminded tomorrow of why I should have. For when I am surrounded by a table full of too much food and a family to share it with, he may be alone.
And that bothers me!
Often we choose to say nothing because it is easier and safer.
Often we choose to stand on the sidelines because joining in may be too painful.
Often we choose to pass by because stopping holds uncertainty.
Often we choose to pray for someone else yet fear being inconvenienced.*
Often we choose wrong.
So next time I am asking. Because the feeling you get from being the crazy stranger in the line to show kindness is much better than regret.
*Which do you pray: "God comfort the heartbroken family?" or "God use me to bring comfort to that family?"