One night, before I was married, I stopped at a Chinese restaurant to get dinner for my fiance and me. As I got out of the car, I looked across the street and all the way on the other side, there was a homeless man digging into a garbage can.
My heart sank. I couldn’t stomach that this guy was going to have to eat something that was probably rotten and would most likely get him sick. When I was young, my late dad would tell me often “that person didn’t expect that today he would be fishing into a garbage can or begging people for food.”
“He must have had hopes and dreams as a child and circumstances and poor choices may have led him here, but he is just as human as you and i and God loves him just as much also”. I stood on the corner till I got his attention and waved at him.
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He knew that i was going to buy him something to eat. I went in and ordered dinner and I ordered a large meal for him with a drink. I came out and the look on his face almost struck me down. He was so imbued with silent anticipation and excitement. His eyes were watering and I’m sure his mouth was too.
He didn’t ask for a dollar or anything, he just kept eye contact with me, not even looking at the food in my hands. When I gave it to him, he gently took it and sat right on the corner and dug in. I went back inside to collect our dinner order and by the time I came back out he was almost through with the meal.
And, mind you, this was a large order. That’d take me 45 mins on my best day and I’m a large guy. When I went to the car and was about to get in, he stopped eating and looked me in the eyes and said the most genuine and heartfelt “thank you” I have ever received. I felt like I made his night, but immediately after, the thought sunk in: when next would he be able to get a healthy hot meal?
My heart sank and I got into the car and my fiancee, who saw everything, gave me a big hug and kiss and told me that she was so proud of me and that I probably made his night.
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I remember telling her something along the lines of that’s what Christ would do, and we pulled off. I never saw him again, but that “thank you” still stirs my heart and I still remember him and pray for him. I say, if you can do it, help someone in need.
Because they cannot do it themselves, and no one deserves to be eating out of garbage; no matter the circumstances that brought them to that point.