Last night , on my way to reconnect with some of my old college friends in San Francisco, I stop at a gas station close to my home.
A timid but courageous man, who happens to be of black skin, walks up to me and my car and kindly asks for some spare change and tells me his situation being homeless.
I tell honestly that I have no spare change on me and show him my empty wallet to affirm his trust in me. He kindly assures me that it is not a problem and bids me to have a good rest of the night.
I of course feel an ache in me, that I couldn’t even offer simple help to this kind young man, who doesn’t deserve the situation he is in right now.
I look for an ATM around me and none to be found, not even inside or around the gas station. I decide to leave for San Francisco then. As I drive out of the gas station, I impulsively shift directions towards my home where I know an ATM that is close by.
I’m able to pull cash from this ATM, with the hopes that this man is still around the gas station. As I drive back towards the station, I see that he is still there, trying to ask others for a little spare change. I park my car and walk towards him.
When he sees me, I tell him that I was able to get some cash, and hand him two twenty-dollar bills. He had originally asked for ten to fifteen dollars. When he sees the money, he begins to cry, almost silently. He doesn’t know what to do or say…it’s not just the money that has surprised him.
He looks up at me and my eyes, and then I proceed to give him a warm and full hug. We embrace each other, because we have found something in each other, in the heat of the night.
In him, I find all the answers to my questions , to why I am here, what I’m supposed to do and who I’m supposed to be. In me, he realizes that his life’s journey has all worked in a way to lead him up to this very point and this very moment : to allow his being to be a witness to the gentle hand of God.
….We then proceed our separate ways into the night, knowing that we both have saved each other.