Monday, January 5, 2015

The sincerest "God bless you"

"Crumbs of Comfort" just received it's 4,000th page view, including readers from half-a-dozen nations. Today's crumb is an excerpt from a recent guest column in the Herald-Times of Bloomington, IN. The writer speaks from her heart, and her story may touch yours.

She says she went to a restaurant and was sipping some Sprite when a homeless man came in. He walked up to the counter and was trying to count out coins with hands that were freezing cold. From the look on the cashier's face, it was not his first visit, and he was not welcome.

"I heard her grumble, 'The only reason you're here is because I'd get in trouble for kicking out a paying customer. Once that coffee is gone, it's a different story. Stay away from everyone else. They don't want you around them!' The man bowed his head in shame; nodded in response and shuffled off to a corner booth. By this time his whole body was shaking. He sipped that coffee as slowly as he could. I knew he was trying to warm up, and even the drafty corner booth by the door was warmer than the cold outside.

"While everyone else gave him dirty looks and whispered, I looked on with a broken heart. I was scared to death, but eventually I worked up the courage to move into the booth opposite of him. When he glanced up and saw me with tears in my eyes, he gave me a nod and looked back down, and soon I noticed he had tears running down his cheeks. Alone. Cast aside. Homeless.

"I had $7 in my pocket and a boatload of change in the bottom of my purse. I gathered it all up and sat it on the table where he sat. I said 'I'm sorry it's not enough to get you a hotel or a good meal.' He told me it would buy enough coffee to keep him out of the cold for a couple of nights, if he budgeted it right, and as I left, he whispered the sincerest 'God bless you' I've ever heard. I cried all the way home. I learned a valuable life lesson that day. There, but for the grace of God, go I.

"Please remember those less fortunate this year as weather turns bitter, and help if you can."

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