Today as I was driving on Church Road leaving a meeting, I noticed a man on the side of the road. It was really hot and humid. He was in a wheelchair. His head was down and his back was to me. On the back of his wheel chair was a sign: I am homeless and I am hungry.
I could not just drive by.
I pulled into Wendy’s and bought a cheeseburger meal with a soda. Drove back to the man, and as I approached him, he noticed me walking up to him and smiled at me. I said, “hi” and asked him if he is okay.
He smiled back at me and said, “yes.”
He was smiling!
There he was in the wheelchair, hot. And I noticed half of his left leg was not there.
And yet, he was still smiling.
I handed him lunch and said, “I wanted to buy you lunch today.” I thought about calling the police to help him, but he said he was okay.
As I walked away, he said, “God be with you.”
He touched me so much! There he was: down and out on his luck. Yet he smiled and sent me off with a positive message.
As I drove away, I thought about an even bigger message from my act of kindness. The message reminded me of something very important. I have to remember I am doing the best I can to provide my children with all they need, love, shelter and food. Everything else is extra. This man does not seem to even have the basic needs of shelter and food.
Last night, my son Ari asked for a new baseball bat. I told him no, I cannot afford a new bat. His response was, “I guess I will get a new bat when I am in high school since you cannot afford it now.” (Okay, he is a little drama king since he is in fifth grade.) I felt badly about not having the money.
After meeting the man on the side of the road, I am reminded that we should never take anything for granted, including shelter and food.
I needed that reminder.
So, I may not have the money for a new bat, but what I do provide for my son such as a beautiful home, in nice area, in a good school district: he has all he needs. He can walk in our front door and relax and have something good to eat.
He may not have all he wants, but he has all he needs.
Sometimes we all need a reminder about what we truly need – the basics of shelter and food – in addition to love, compassion and kindness.
I do not know the man’s story on the side of the road. There is no judgment or questioning of how he got there. All I know is that he was there and I wanted to show him some kindness and through that act I received a beautiful reminder that even in his lowest of time he still wanted God to be with me.
I hope you will use my story as a reminder too.