She is gray. Her hair is greasy and gray. Her down coat is filthy and gray. And the cup she’s constantly shaking is gray too. The homeless woman who set up shop on the sidewalk to the right of the double doors of Ellen’s downtown office blends into the scenery so completely, it’s a wonder she’s noticed at all.

But she is. Not just noticed, but cared for too. It’s a friendly neighborhood. Her single square of sidewalk is where Ellen and her co-workers frequently stop to fill the gray cup, drop off food, and share a kind word.

The gray panhandler is mentally ill and very poor. But she manages to turn an act of charity into a pleasant exchange between friends. Ellen gives, and the woman offers a heartfelt “thank-you.” Next, she smiles and offers these words: “God bless you.

Young Anne Frank said it best when she wrote from her hideaway in Nazi Germany,  “Give of yourself, give as much as you can! And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!

– Prayables

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