It was last August and I had just gone back to school after my maternity leave. I was on my way home, about 15 minutes into my drive, and I saw a group of high school boys come out of Chipotle and hand a man who stands on the corner a bag of food. I had seen the guy on the corner many times, sometimes I fed him whatever I had in my car, that sounds creepy but the man was clearly hungry. If I had food I gave it to him. But that moment of the young men adding good into our world, it really moved me.
Many drives home over the next few weeks I saw him again and again. One day, when all I wanted to do was go home to my baby after a particularly tough day, God had different plans. I sat there at the stop light of the intersection he stands at, and saw him again. Every part of me just wanted to go home. I planned on going straight through the light like every other day, but I became overwhelmed with an odd urgency to turn my car around. I heard it very clearly, “Megan turn your car around and go feed that man!” Now if you have never had God talk to you, I know you are going to think I am crazy. And that is ok, I heard it clear as day. So, you can bet I turned that car around and went to feed that man.
I walked out to him, and asked him to have lunch with me. He told me his name was Kenny. So we sat, we ate, and he told me about his life. He had maybe made a few bad choices along the way, but haven’t we all? His story is full of sadness and loss, and the details aren’t really mine to share. More than once, I am ashamed to admit, I wondered if his story was fully truthful. But in the end, does it matter? He was in need, and without regard as to WHY he was in need, it was my job in that moment to care for him.
As we sat there a man came up and handed Kenny a $50 gift card to buy more meals. He then looked at me and said “Thank You” and I’m thinking “for what?!” As Kenny got a drink refill, the man proceeded to tell me about a few weeks back when he had an extra sandwich his wife bought for him, and he didn’t need it. He found himself sitting at a red light where Kenny always is, and could have easily given the other sandwich to him. Instead he kept it for himself. It was in seeing me sitting with Kenny and feeding him that he said he felt moved to do the same. We briefly chatted about religion and what church we belonged to before parting ways. Kenny and I parted ways at the door, he returned to his spot and I went to my car, physically shaking after the out-of-character decision I had just made.
One by one as a community, we came together to lift up someone who needed a little boost. It has been almost a year, and I haven’t seen Kenny around town since before winter. I can only hope he’s doing okay.