One word.

Across lanes of traffic, I saw a homeless man using a bus stop bench as a bed as I drove to work. It was bitterly cold for a California morning, and there was no shelter around it to protect him from the wind and the noise of commuters’ cars.

A block further, I saw an older man bundled up but walking slowly, as though putting one foot in front of the other was as much as his spirit could take. His eyes were fixed on nothing in particular — maybe just the sidewalk ahead of him — and they looked as lifeless as the frigid concrete on which he walked.

The sun was shining after a weekend of rain and wind, with snow and hail in other parts of the area. Small beans compared to the devastating weather that other parts of the country are dealing with.

I was on my way to a new job, and one that came immediately following one I’d just left. There was no layoff to contend with, no unemployment to collect. No worry about where the next dollar would come from, or my next meal, and I was able to afford a few new pieces for the ol’ wardrobe.

Everything I was so fortunate to have in that moment seemed to weigh me down the most, and all I was able to do was think a quiet prayer for those whose problems — perhaps more true than most of us will ever know — stare them down each day.

Tonight, it’s a short and simple post. I am thankful for the one thing we are each so lucky to have an abundance of, even if it sometimes seems otherwise:

Blessings.

Plentiful, bountiful, life-warming, energy-providing blessings.

Let’s count them up — the small, the big, even the things that are weighing on our mind. The latter are really just blessings that are donning the mask of life’s tests. They’re there to remind us to look a little deeper, to appreciate a bit more and to share what we can. Because to us, our little extra — our surplus — could be the best thing all day, all year, or in the lifetime of someone in need.

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