A lady was on wheels through the Highway. Suddenly she noticed a man on the side with a card board sign and a dog aside. He seemed scary and was carelessly sitting on the grass. The lady was a sucker for anyone needing help. She pulled her car. She saw the man in the rear view mirror. He was youngish, maybe forty, tattoos all over; he was dirty and had a scraggly beard. He had neatly tucked in the black T-shirt, and his things were in a small, tidy bundle. Nobody was stopping for him. It was so hot out. She could see in the man’s very blue eyes how dejected and tired and worn-out he felt. The sweat was trickling down his face. The scripture suddenly popped into her head. “In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, so ye have done it unto me.”
She reached her purse and extracted a ten-dollar bill. Her twelve-year old son, Nick knew right away what she was doing. “Can I take it to him, Mom?” He asked. “Be careful, honey.” She warned and handed him the money. She watched in the mirror as he rushed over to the man, and with a shy smile, handed it to him. I saw the man, startled, stand up and take the money, putting it into his back pocket. “Good,” she thought to herself. “Now he will at least have a hot meal tonight.” She said.
When Nick got back into the car, he looked at her with sad, pleading eyes. “Mom, his dog looks so hot and the man is really nice.” She knew that she had to do more. “Go back and tell him to stay there, that we will be back in fifteen minutes,” She told Nick. He bounded out of the car and ran to tell the tattooed stranger. The man was surprised, but nodded his agreement.
She then ran to the nearest store and bought their gifts carefully. They finally settled on their purchases. A bag of “Ol’ Roy”; a flavoured chew-toy shaped like a bone; a water dish, bacon flavoured snacks (for the dog); two bottles of water (one for the dog, one for Mr. Tattoos); and some people snacks for the man. She rushed back to the spot where they had left him, and there he was, still waiting. She walked towards the man, all four of her children following her, each carrying gifts. She looked into his eyes and saw tears tripping down. He was fighting like a little boy to hold back his tears. How long had it been since someone showed this man kindness? She showed him what they had brought. He stood there, like a child at Christmas, while she felt like her small contributions were so inadequate. He snatched the water dish out of her hands as if it were solid gold and told her that he had had no way to give his dog water. He gingerly set it down, filled it with the bottled water they brought, and stood up to look directly into her eyes. He said, “Ma’am, I don’t know what to say.” She smiled through her tears and said, “Don’t say anything.” She waved cheerfully but fully broke down in tears.
She thought that she has so much; her worries seemed so trivial and petty then. She has a home, a loving husband, four beautiful children. She has a bed. She wondered where he would sleep that night. Her daughter, Brandie turned to her and said in the sweetest little-girl voice, “I feel so good.” Although it seemed as if they had helped him, the man with the tattoos gave them a gift that she will never forget. He taught that no matter what the outside looks like, inside each of us is a human being deserving of kindness, of compassion, of acceptance.