Of Birds and Saints

An elderly man at a grocery store asked a young employee walking by if he would help him lift a 40 pound bag of bird seed into his cart. The young man did not even stop and said he doesn’t work in that department. I don’t think the elderly gentleman heard the young man’s response, since he kept looking at him as he continued walking away. I think he expected him to turn around any second and help him out.

I stood right behind the man and asked him if I could help him but he didn’t hear me. Finally when he did turn around and hear me, he said that I shouldn’t lift that much.

I showed him the 40 pound bag I already hoisted onto my cart and told him I will get one for him. He said OK as long as he can help me since it was so heavy. I already pay good money at a gym to lift weights so why not lift bird seed? He said his wife enjoys feeding the birds. A happy wife and well-fed birds, two things I’m all in favor of.

But I cannot harshly judge the young. Even St. Augustine did some unsaintlike things in his youth and became a saint after all. I have hope that the young man will stop and perform a small act of kindness to his fellow man the next time. I’m getting old myself.

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