The tall thin man approached me, “Do you have any money?”
“No,” I replied quickly, staying focused on the task at hand. It was a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a few things before a family celebration. And I wasn’t lying, I didn’t have cash. The truth is, I seldom do. In this debit card world I imagine few of us carry it any more.
Focused entirely on my own thoughts and needs I didn’t give the man much of a look. I just hurried by. It was a tiny sliver of a moment in my day, and I’d brushed him off. It was my son whose words tugged at me.
“Mom, he looks so skinny.”
I refocused my thoughts, paying attention.
“Did you see how hollow his cheeks were? I think he’s really hungry.”
His words tugged at me. I’d glanced long enough to know he was right. I’d even heard the man tell the next person he approached that he wanted money to buy food for himself and his boys. Those words floated past me as I continued on my mission. But my son’s words didn’t. I was proud of him and ashamed of myself all at the same time. It wouldn’t have cost me much to pay attention and connect with another human in need.
We picked up a nice big, ready-made sandwich along with the rest of our groceries. My son was so kind and humble as he offered it to the gentleman. It made me want to cry. The tears didn’t take long to flow once we saw the man devouring a portion of the meal before we pulled from the parking lot.
There are lessons in our days, we just need to pay attention to them. All it takes is a tiny moment to give of yourself to someone in need. Don’t be in such a hurry that you forget to focus on what’s really important. I’m proud of the young man my sixteen-year-old son has grown into. He helped me learn something that day.
Now go out, be the best human you can be.