Yesterday I took myself and my kids to a sign language that was being offered in the next town over. When we got to the place we parked where I saw more cars and tried to find the right building. Naturally, we went in the wrong one at first. We were greeted with a smile and told to follow and someone would show me where to go. As we were walking out of the building a man stood at the doorway asking where the food bank was. Our guide told him that the church next door has a food bank but only open in the mornings. There I stood with my kids listening to this man ask for any information we had for food. After a minute or two he walked away. Returning back to us, our guide pointed me and the children in the right direction.
Sign language class was not too full and we were late, of course. But for the hour we sat there, listening and signing. It was everything I had hoped to gain from the class and my kids seemed to enjoy it. At the end we did some conversing with the other students and took off. Once the littlest one was buckled I started the car, sent a message to my husband, called my friend who possibly would be interested in the class as well, and drove off.
That man, was in the parking lot. Still there. Not looking at anything except for the clouds.
I felt badly for this man. It occurred to me that he could have been a scam artist. Maybe he has a drinking or a drug problem and put himself in this position. Maybe he was bored. But none of those thoughts mattered more than the one thought I had on my mind since first seeing him.
I have 10$ and there is a store one minute away.
So I went. Hauled my tired and hungry kids inside, utilized my money for as much as I could, and loaded the car back up with kids and went to the parking lot.
He was still there.
A little wary, after all I am by myself with kids and don’t know what this person could be capable of, I pulled the car around and got out to have a word with him. I spoke to him about seeing him asking for food and if he found any. In a quiet voice he said no. I asked if he would like some and he looked at me and said yes please. I handed what I could get for my 10$ and as he stood there with a bag in each hand, he said something that I have never personally heard from another human being before.
“Thank you, I haven’t eaten in a day.”
Being in danger of crying, I took a breath and told him I hope he finds some help soon. And then he asked me for a hug. I gave him one. He softly said thank you again. And I turned to go back into the car. After talking to my curious children about what they witnessed, I drove away. I said a prayer to myself and had a conversation with my kids about how I am always here for them and will always love them no matter what happens in their life.
A day without food.
A whole day.
Most people I know panic when they go a whole day without coffee or a piece of chocolate or TV. But without food? Can you fathom?