I was at a gas station about to pump gas into my car and I saw a homeless man standing around the corner of the building. To the surprise of everyone around me, I ran to him and gave him the biggest hug I could.
This man had been working a corner in my area for years, generally with a sign about his Lear jet being out of fuel. I carry food in my car to hand out to people on the corners, and he's someone I had asked for preferences to help me get the ones that tasted good but could last in the car for a long time. I loved talking to him.
Sometimes, though, I would run out of food and had nothing to give him. No matter. I would roll down my window and apologize, and he would always greet me with a great big smile and tell me that my conversation was enough.
On this day, I needed to tell him that his smile had been what I needed most the last couple times I had seen him. I don't even remember why I needed it, but I do remember that as I drove toward his corner, I was praying that he would be there. I needed a little bit of sunshine, a little bit of conversation, and that joyful smile.
I didn't have any food to give him that day at the gas station, but that wasn't going to stop me from giving him what I did have. Yes, he was dirty, had a pile of stuff that he was carrying around, and was standing around the corner so he wouldn't be noticed. I didn't care. I needed him to know that he made a difference. I imagine he didn't hear it very often.
It just goes to show that it no matter how much or how little you have, you always have something to give.
"Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to one who has nothing. Neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could." - St. Gregory Nazianzen
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