Friday, November 25, 2011

Knowledge Is The Key

photo from

If you have read my posts over at Four Perspectives, this story may sound familiar. It is a post I wrote in November of 2009 but I thought it was worth reposting here.

Yesterday I had to run some errands at a local SuperStore. As I exited my car and tried to shove my keys into my purse I discovered that they would not fit. The keys were so bulky that I could not get them to fit inside my pockets, either. Dumb keys, I thought to myself as I threw them into the child-seat of my shopping cart.

Once my purchases were complete I made my exit. As I approached the corral for the shopping carts in the parking lot I noticed a man in tattered clothes sifting through a trash can there.

"You have a Merry Christmas!" he said to me, smiling. I grabbed my purchases from my cart, responded with, "You too!" and pushed my cart into the corral, hurrying towards my car.

I heard a voice from behind me.

"Miss! Wait! Miss!" the man called after me. I glanced over my shoulder and confirmed that it was the poorly dressed man who had just wished me a merry Christmas. To be honest, I was initially a bit frightened. Why was this man rushing towards me? Was he going to ask for money? Should I hurry to my car and get inside?

I stopped near my car, turning to face him. "Yes?" I asked, still somewhat nervous as to his intentions.

"You left your keys in the cart," he said as he handed them to me, still smiling.

I sighed. I was grateful and told him so.

"I used to have keys," he told me. "I remember how much I hated to lose them."

In that moment it seemed as if a million questions passed through my mind. What had happened to bring him to his current state? Did he lose his job? Did he have a home somewhere? A family? What sorts of locks did he open with the keys he no longer had now?

But before I could say another word, he was walking away. "You have a good day, now," he said with a sideways wave.

"Thanks again. Thanks so much," I called after him.

I looked at my keys. Keys to my car(s!) and my home; keys to closets and safes. So many keys. Keys that I complain about when really, each key represents a comfort or blessing in my life.

I had never been so thankful for a bulky set of keys.

And thankful to the man who reminded me that I take too much for granted.


Rachel said...

I do remember this post but I am glad you posted it again because I needed to be reminded of the things I take for granted each and every day. I've a friend who said that if we woke up one morning and all the things we didn't thank Heavenly Father for the previous day/night were gone out of our lives........ I need to spend more time being grateful, remembering, and giving thanks. Giving thanks for friends like you Gerb! Thank you Gerb for being this freakishly awkward gal's friend. :D

Richard & Natalie said...

One of my favorite posts and definitely worth posting again. We always seem to need a reminder of the blessings in our lives.