A Fifty Cents Blessing
Stepping away from my truck, I was approached by a man today. He was life-worn, middle-aged, and layered with clothing. Plenty of it, sheltering himself the best he could from the day’s wind chill of 0 degrees. “Sir,” he asked. “Could I bother you for 50 cents?” Carrying no money on me, my reply was honest. “Thank you anyway,” the man replied as he turned and walked away. A frigid wind gust blew as I pulled my scarf tighter around my body. Watching as the man moved further away from me, I yelled out, “Sir!” as I jogged toward him. “I don’t have any cash, but I’d be happy to buy you a sandwich.” He paused a moment before replying that that would be nice. “Maybe tuna fish would be good. I’d like that.” I invited him to follow me.
The two of us walked into the nearby restaurant. He was quiet and seemed a little uncomfortable as the two of us stood at the counter. “How about a large cup of coffee?” I asked. “And how about a hot bowl of soup to go with your sandwich?” He slightly smiled, accepted my offer, and told me he was homeless. “Yes sir” I replied as I patted him on the shoulder. He used the word “blessing” several times as we waited for his hot meal.
Our short time together came to an end as I handed him the large brown paper bag filled with a tuna salad sandwich, a large hot bowl of noodle and chicken soup, a bag of potato chips, and a large coffee. Both sides of our parting conversation included that blessing word again. He shared a casual life worn smile with me as he thanked me. “You’re certainly welcome,” I told him. “You take care of yourself.” Holding his bag firmly, he slowly walked out the door.
There was no overthinking the event of today. I just followed my heart. With the day now behind me, I remember my father helping families numerous times even when Dad himself was disabled and unable to work. My father’s ails or lack of extra funds didn’t matter. Helping someone in need solely for the sake of making his or her day a little better was the only thing that ever mattered. Lesson learned.
Perhaps not having two quarters in my pocket today was also a blessing.