This summer, I am tasked with the chore of taking my daughter to early morning workouts.
It is brisk out and we are on our way to practice. I look over at my daughter and
tell her "this old lady will out do you today." She smiles and responds with a "mom!"
I barely survive the workout and get ready to head to work.
On my drive in I stop and get my dreaded addiction, Chick-fil-A.
I am feeling good about myself. I love the feeling of accomplishment so early in the morning.
It brings on an extra dose of cockiness. Head high, shoulders back, I commence my stroll into the building. I am busy thinking about me. Cup in hand and tummy full, I straighten my hair.
I look down to admire my perfectly painted toes. Vanity is present.
I barely make it in the door when I am brought to a hault, by our lovely receptionist.
She informs me that the gentlemen using the phone needs some help. I wait till he gets off the phone and then I ask him, how I can be of service. He tells me he is in need of a bar of soap and a bottle of shampoo. I ask him to wait in our lobby as I run to our hygiene closet, to retrieve his request.
I run back into the building, as I reach him I hand him the bag. I ask him to follow me to my office.
We reach my office and I ask him to sit. I notice how clean he is. I notice there is no vanity there, he is humble and meek. I begin to lose interest in my self and my vanity quickly leaves me. Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
I begin by asking him his name and he gently replies. I ask him about his educational background. He softly tells me "I finished the 7th grade." I ask him what his current struggles are. He takes a moment and then he speaks "I just finished serving 15 years in prison." I pause for a moment, I look up and his gaze is to the floor. My heart aches as I see shame in his posture.
My next question is if he is employed. He reply's with "No one will hire people like me."
I continue to ask him questions. I ask him if he has any type of income. He answers "no".
I ask him where he stays and he quietly responds "my truck." I ask him where he eats and his voice cracks as he speaks "I don't like crowds, because it brings back memories of prison."
He looks up at me and I can see his pain. He speaks again "When I get really hungry I go to Salvation Army, but most of the time I just don't eat." I observe his sunken cheek bones and his thin stature.
He leaves and I go about my day. All day I am troubled about this one man that will not eat today. I am reminded that many veterans in this business often tell me I can't help everyone. That is not what my heart saids. My heart reminds me that this man is someone's father. This man is someone's child. This man is human. Who am I to deny food to a human.
It is 5:00 and I go to Wal-mart. I buy some pop tarts, peanut butter and other things that require no cooking. You could say I made an adult snack pack. I go back to the office and I call him. He answers and I ask if he is near. He tells me he is across the street at the park. I ask him to swing buy and pick up his dinner. I meet him at the door and hand him his goods. He smiles and I feel his spirit.
What does that mean any way, "people like me". I want to be a "people like him."
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”