It is a beautiful day in Portland. The sky is clear, the temperature is just perfect, and there is a slight breeze in the air.
So, rather than drive to my meeting I decided to ride my bike. My ride took me along a well traversed bike path that dumps into an industrial area. I've ridden the route many times. There are a number of homeless encampments along the route. Its not uncommon to see people walking with personal possessions or shopping carts.
Just as I exited the bike path a young man pulling a suitcase caught my eye. He appeared to be no more than 20, and had a splint on this arm. I noticed him, but kept riding - concerned I'd be late for my meeting. Not 200 feet after passing him something inside of me said, 'turn around and go back, make a connection.' I get feelings like this a lot. I wish I could say I listen to this inner voice all the time - I don't - but today I did.
As I rode up to the young man I could sense his uncertainty. I asked him how long he had been outside and he replied that he wasn't "like everyone else." I said I understood and just wanted to give him something to show him I care. I pulled out some money and gave it to him. I told him I just wanted him to know he wasn't alone . . . and that I fully understood my meager offering wasn't going to change his circumstances. He smiled and asked me why I was helping.
We talked for a few minutes. About life, circumstances, and bicycles. When I went to leave he said, "blessings my man. Many blessings to you." As I rode away I thought, you are a blessing friend. You have blessed me.
Time travel with me a couple of weeks back. I was in a Starbucks in a shopping mall in Cusco, Peru. Three young people were busy working on a project. We were sitting at a table waiting for our colleague to arrive and casually talking. After a few minutes of glancing back and forth between our tables - there was something really familiar about one member of the group - one of the young men came over. As it turns out, he was one of the boys who lived at the Casa Girasoles home in the Sacred Valley. He is now a tour guide working with his colleagues on a new tourism project. We talked for a few minutes and caught up on life. He said he was doing great and promised to come out to the house to visit soon. He was such a blessing. He showed us how much the work of the Girasoles Program is impacting lives and creating futures.
It is really strange - you just never know where blessings will come from. But, when we open ourselves to the opportunities, the blessings are all around.
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The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.