Last Night’s Encounter

Written by Scott

Topics: Archives, Faith

For those that don’t follow on Facebook or Twitter, Sammy and I had an encounter with a man begging near Sammy’s taekwondo school last night. This is that story.

For those that do follow, this is the rest of the story, the details.

We were at a red light at the major intersection near Sammy’s taekwondo school, about 3 cars back, and there he was, holding his cardboard sign and walking slowly by us. The first think I noticed was that he looked younger, maybe in his 20’s or early 30’s. And he didn’t have the telltale looks or mannerisms of a user–after too many years of observing, there are some. Frankly, he looked a lot like a particular business acquaintance of mine.  Anyway, the other thing I noticed was something on his sign–the lettering was small, but the part I could make out was that he was asking for help if people could, and for prayer, and as his sign said “God knows I need it”.

But there was no place to park, and we needed to get to class, and time was running short. We got to the parking lot, and I turned to Sammy and asked him about his impressions of the man, and if he wanted to help. We talked about it, and though I only had a little bit of cash, we had barely enough time to walk back over to the intersection, cross, and give. So we did.

I’m not sure how much success the man had getting help, because when we got there, he seemed surprised. His back was to us when we walked up, so when we were a few feet away, I said something so he wouldn’t be surprised. I then explained we’d seen him a few minutes ago, and wanted to come back and help, even though it’s not much. Sammy gave it to him, and he seemed genuinely thankful, and as he told us thank you, he looked directly into my eyes in a way few ever have, as if he was peering directly into my soul, and there was nothing at all scary or unsettling about it.  We gave not out of pity, but to help. We didn’t look down or talk down to him, we just gave.

If class wasn’t about to start, we would have stayed and talked to him and gotten his story. If he’s there again, we will.

A few minutes into class, reading the book I’m currently in, I came to a new chapter about, of all things, beneficence. No coincidence, methinks.

Also led to a good family discussion after dinner when we got home…

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  1. Rebecca K says:

    That is awesome! what a great experience for Sam! And how great of you to choose to go back!