It was a frigid day in Eastern Washington, with temperatures well into the teens. Bob stepped out of the fast food restaurant and hurried toward his car.
“Hey, do you have any spare change so I can get something to eat?” Bob turned and saw a young man leaning against the building.
Knowing his spare change amounted to about 12 cents that wouldn’t buy anything, he answered, “No, I don’t have any spare change.” Opening his car door, Bob asked the man, “Do you have a warm place to go for the night?”
“Yeah,” he replied. “I have my car to sleep in.”
Bob got in his car and remembered the two one-dollar bills in his wallet. Times were tough for him, too, but his heart said, “Go buy this guy some food.” So he went back inside and bought two one-dollar tacos.
“Here you go,” he said, handing the man the bag.
“Thank you! Thank you!” the young man said gratefully. He turned and walked away, and Bob turned and walked back to his car.
Both Good and Bad
I live in a small town where people know each other, and both good and bad deeds can spread quickly. In that same parking lot, my friend, Lonna, and her son were watching this scenario unfold from their car. When she got home, Lonna wrote about the experience and posted it on her Facebook page. She told the story, then wrote:
“It didn’t matter that the man who bought the food couldn’t fix all the problems in the life of the man outside. He found out the man was hungry, and gave him something warm to eat. Sure, many of us would like to do grand-scale things to totally change the lives of such people, and that sometimes stops us from being in the moment and doing what we can. But you know, that warm meal likely brought more than physical nourishment. The gift of knowing someone cares, even for a few moments in time, can spark a little more hope. And that can totally change a life. Every small act of love carries great weight and multiplies. It just does.”
She went on to write, “Bob, you really inspired us last night—when you didn’t even know we were watching you. Thank you. We love you and respect you very much. I hope it’s OK with you that I’m sharing this story. What you did when you thought nobody saw is a perfect example of a truly loving heart that gives without expectation.”
In addition to Lonna’s friends who read this post, one of our town’s Facebook pages shared it, and from there over one hundred people have shared it on their page. The kind act of one man in our town became an inspiration to hundreds. Hopefully more of us will be buying one-dollar tacos.
“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon” (Isaiah 58:10).