Thursday, May 22, 2014

Interesting Interaction with a Homeless Man

Yesterday was my friend David's birthday and a big group of us were meeting at Alfredo's for dinner.

On the way there, I was stopped at a red light and like a lot of stop lights in Atlanta, there was a homeless man standing there with a sign.  I didn't really read the sign and I never give money to the people standing there.  Instead, I chose to give money to charities and homeless shelters and places where they can get the resources they need.  In addition, I know there are so many scammers out there and I am not what you call gullible.

But something was urging me...give money to this man.  I only had $4 in cash in my purse so I listened to the little voice urging me and rolled my window down.  He walked over, he was thin and had long grey hair neatly pulled into a ponytail - he was very clean, clean shaven and while his clothes were worn, they looked clean.  He was bright and cheery - came over and said "Hi, my name is Dave" (also the name of the friend I was meeting for dinner) - "Thanks for stopping, the patriots are usually nice and stop" - I handed him the money and said "Hi, I'm Debbie" and he shook my hand.

He said "I see you are a patriot because you have a Florida's Sheriff's tag on the front of your car, was that your dad's?  It kind of took me by surprise because it WAS my dad's tag and I was driving my dad's car (which I have now).  I said "Yes, it's my dad's".  Now I am no spring chicken - why didn't he ask "Do you work for them? Have you worked for them? Is that your husband's or is that your son's/daughter's?" He didn't even say "IS that your dad's?" - he said "WAS that your dad's?"

So we chatted about how hot it had gotten the past couple of days but how nice it was outside and how the government doesn't treat our vets properly.  He made a joke about how that is because they are all bureaucrats that can't get their act together and we both laughed it off.  He said "Maybe the VA will get it together so the next time you drive by here, you won't see me" (Indicating to me that he was a vet, which I had already assumed).

Then he said "Was your dad military?"  I said "Yes".  He said "What branch? Army?"  Again, this is taking me by surprise because again the answer was "Yes".  He said "Me too!! We are a lot better than those Jarheads" - haha.  He was just keeping the conversation light.

He then said "Has your dad passed?"  I said "Yes, about 2 years ago" and he said "Oh, I'm sorry, my mom passed away 2 years ago - that's tough, I know" Then he said "Well the light is about to change - take care, have a good evening and God Bless You." and I said "God Bless You too!" and the light changed and I drove along to Alfredos.

I kept thinking about him though - he was so nice - not the usual homeless type I run into all the time (and I do almost daily) - He was so well spoken, friendly, didn't act like he was on something or had been on something, seemed like he cared about his appearance and didn't hassle me for more money or give me a sob story or anything like that" - he just seemed like the average Joe you'd meet at the coffee shop.

It was so surprising to me that he
  • Asked if the tag WAS my dad's
  • Asked if my dad was in the Army
  • Asked if my dad passed
All while I was driving my dad's car.  It was almost like he knew all this.

I was telling my friend, Susan, this story today and she said "Maybe he is an angel and he knows all about your dad, you know they say angels walk among us".  I thought...who knows....maybe he was an angel.  He sure did touch my day.  Who would have know that giving a stranger $ 4 would be such a blessing for me?

Last night after I got home from my wonderful evening with friends, a Bible verse popped into my head.

"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'
                   ~Matthew 25:40 (New Living Translation)

Maybe he was an angel and maybe by helping him, I was helping the Lord.  It was a beautiful experience and I thank the Lord for putting Dave in my path.  I will pray for him and pray that he gets the help he needs and deserves.

So if you ever feel that urging to do something - listen to it - maybe it is the Holy Spirit guiding you, who knows what God may want to show you?

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