Today I bought a hair clip.
On the side of the road.
I had gone to target to get some really exciting things, like toilet paper, and dishwasher detergent and such. As I was headed home, there was a guy standing on the corner with a sign that said "I am not a panhandler-just doing what I can with what I have."
I was intrigued by this, so I rolled down my window and asked what he's selling.
And then came the reply: "hair accessories".
Even more intrigued.
So I pulled around and parked. This guy was great - he announced to me as I walked up that he loved Jesus, and that he wanted me to know that Jesus loves me. He got saved 2 years ago, and just wants to make sure people know. I shook his hand and told him I am a Christian also - I got saved when I was 7. He asked if I had been saved ever since, and I said for sure. He showed me his shirt that said "Rep the King". (For those NOT in the 'hood, Rep means "represent". Clarification: I am not in the 'hood either - in the interest of full disclosure.)
I looked at his hairbands, hair clips and what he was selling. He told me that his wife made all of them, and he was just out trying to do his best at selling them. So I bought one.
Here it is, sitting on my computer.
As I drove away, I felt really good about buying this little hair clip. I ALWAYS feel conflicted about people standing on the corner asking for handouts. I want to help, but NEVER know how I could actually help. And then I hear the statistics that some huge percentage of any money you give is used for drugs and alcohol, which makes me feel even more befuddled about what, if anything, I can actually do.
But today, I felt really good. I felt like I helped. I felt like making the decision to spend 5 dollars on a hair clip was the good one - whether I actually wear the hair clip or not. But if for nothing else, I really appreciate his creativity, and willingness to DO something besides just stand there.
No, I don't know how that money will be used. But I know that there was time spent making these, and creativity spent in coming up with something they could do. And I fell really good about rewarding that.
So, for now, I will just keep my hair clip, and pray for the hands that made it, and the family that hopefully will benefit from today's interaction.
I know I did.