A Cup of Hot Coffee in HIS Name
I don't even know his name. I didn't think to ask, our encounter was so
brief. But I still remember his face, and his eyes.
It was a usual chilly morning, not much past dawn when I turned off the
highway, taste buds set for a good hot cup of coffee. As I rounded the
corner for the drive-up window I saw him in the distance, crossing the
barren parking lot. It was foggy, damp and drizzly, and he wore only
denims. He headed straight to the dumpster but found it within it's own
fortress, locked behind tall gates.
I hastily ordered an extra cup of coffee and a couple of breakfast
sandwiches, hoping he hadn't gotten too far. As I pulled around, my gaze
scanned the area until I saw him, on the far side by the shopping mall.
I wondered where he might be heading now.
As I pulled up along side, I lowered my window and called out 'Hey son',
and told him I'd brought him a little breakfast. His humble reply
surprised me, "No, you keep that, you bought it for yourself."
"Oh," I said, "I got some for myself, too. This is for you."
He hesitated as he came up to the car to take the steaming cup and small
bag and seemed obligated to answer a question that hadn't been asked.
"I've been working the carnie," he said politely. But I knew the
carnival season was long over. His clothes bore the telltale signs of
sleeping on the ground. He shivered in his thin jacket which was little
comfort against the cold. He teeth had gone the way of all teeth without
proper care. I thought of my twice-a-year cleanings, and gold crowns.
His rugged face exceeded his years I thought. I was sure there were no
daily handfuls of vitamins in his routine, nor routine doctor visits,
nor medication for common colds or flu.
As I briefly glanced into his gentle eyes, I caught a glimpse of a
tender heart, even with all that life seems to have been to him. And I
thought of his mother. This was some mother's son--her bouncing baby boy
that she conceived and carried and birthed. Where was she now, I
wondered. Does she know what has become of her precious son? Is she
alive and does she know that he is alive, or care? I thought of my own
son, still in his youth, and his sweet, tender spirit. How could I live
without him? Without knowing where he was and that he was well?
"God bless you." he said.
"Thank you!" I replied most sincerely. "May the Lord bless YOU."
He headed for shelter from the drizzle under the eave of a
not-yet-opened store and disappeared from my rear-view mirror. I wished
I'd bought a whole bag of sandwiches. How does this happen to a human
being, that he looks for breakfast in a dumpster? Was he not able to
finish school? Did he run away from home at a young age? Was he or did
he feel abandoned? Did he abuse drugs and alcohol? Who's to know? I
cried all the way to work.
I now have a special envelope stuck between the car seats where I keep a
small supply of gift certificates to McDonalds, Burger King and a
restaurant and grocery. And when I'm driving, I keep an eye out for
someone who looks like he might need a meal. It doesn't cost much or
take much effort, and I no longer have to look the other way as I pass
I think of him now and then and remember to pray that the Father of all
would touch his life. I wish he could know how he touched mine, and
changed me forever.
**WARNING** -- Use common sense and caution when passing out meal
certificates, or any other type of help for the needy.
[ Submitted by Jill Burnett (Jill@AtTheWell.com) -- from '2THEHEART' ]
All Rights Reserved.