Today, after grocery shopping, on my way home, I saw a homeless man standing in the 84F weather holding a sign “please help, God bless you”. It was 4 pm, hot and humid in Texas. He was an older man, walking back and forth with his sign and hoping for some help.
No one was stopping to help. I thought about how thirsty and hungry he might be. Even to go get a burger and drink across the street at Jack in the Box, this man would need at least 7 dollars. That meant that 7 cars would have to stop and hand him a dollar bill. At that intersection, he might have to wait several hours to get enough money for a hot meal and a cold drink.
So I decided to order a burger and large cold drink at the drive through for the man, then turned around to go by the intersection again and hand him the fresh food. The red light was on, so I had time to roll down the window and wave the bag for him to come to my direction. He looked tired and sweaty, I handed him the bag and the drink and told him that I had just bought that food fresh for him and hoped that he would not be hungry today. He seemed very appreciative and thanked profusely, pointing to the words on his sign that said God bless you. He walked back to where he had placed his backpack on the floor, got the straw and started to drink the cold refreshing coke, and made sure to look out again for me among the cars that were now moving due to the green light, and wave again and again with a thanks.
I don’t know why this always touches me and I find myself with tears in my eyes every time I help someone in need and see how thankful they are. It is such a rewarding feeling, that you are providing some relief, however minimal it may be, to someone, even if for a few hours. I hope that the man will not sleep hungry tonight and enjoy some food that was bought for him, and not eat some left overs or food from the trash.
There is so much abundance in the world if we just shared a little bit of what we have with another human being. It seems hard to practice charity sometimes, one feels like there is no time, no money, no end to the suffering of those that are being helped. But the feeling of giving is really rewarding. If you don’t want to give money, give food. But always try to make a difference in someone’s life, one day at a time. I try to have cans of ready to eat food in the car to hand out to people that have signs stating they are hungry. I buy the cans that don’t need an opener and hand them out; if I am out of cans, I will stop at a burger place and get them a meal. It is easy, doesn’t take much of your time and is cheap. And do that when your children are in the car, so they can appreciate the feeling of doing good to another human being too. Have you fed anyone today?