One Good Thing About Not Having Teeth

In the past I’ve written about how two people can look at the same thing yet see something very different. Just the other day I ran into a real life example…

A local church runs a program where each week they create dozens of essential bags for the homeless. They fill a gallon sized plastic bag with a water bottle, granola bars, soap, chap stick, a bus ticket and anything else they can get donated. They call the program “Hands of Hope.”

I was given a Hands of Hope bag from my mom and later that day, on my drive home, I saw a homeless man standing at an intersection. I was excited to give him the goodie bag so I waved him over as I waited for the light to turn green. He approached with smile that blossomed into a huge toothless-grin when he saw the bag.

My excitement dropped a little when I saw his dental records, or lack there of. One reason I was eager to pass out the Hand of Hope bag was because it contained a large bag of beef jerky. I just knew the jerky would be a hit.

But seeing my new friend’s smile made me think twice about the jerky. Could he eat it? Would he see the offer as an insult? Those were just a few of the questions that rapid fired into my brain in the split second it took for him to get to the car.

Despite my apprehension, I was stuck He had already seen the bag and the light was still red. I couldn’t pull back my offer and I couldn’t speed away.

I was all set to apologize, but before I could even say a word, he exclaimed,

Beef jerky! Awesome, I love this stuff. And since I don’t have any teeth it will last longer!”

We were looking at the same thing, but seeing something completely different. I saw a lack of teeth and thought the beef jerky would be a burden. He saw the jerky as a gift that would last a week.

The man thanked me, gave me a fist pound and immediately started rifling though the bag to see what other treasured it contained. Seconds ago, I had approached the street corner thinking I was going to leave on mark on this man’s life. Little did I know, I would be the one with the lasting memory.



Photo credit: Wikipedia