as if he were late to a meeting; he pressed the “5” without looking.
Instead of suit and tie, though, baggy pants and faded navy hung on his tall,
slim frame…and his stealth entry stiffened the hairs on the back of my
parted a sea of clamorous teens. He was smiling, grandfatherly, standing maybe
30 feet away where the electric shuttle picks up.
patiently awaiting his next prey.
tomb. Tomb–that thought really scampered across my mind. I wondered if he had
a knife in his pocket. I wanted to protect my son. Fight or flight pumped
adrenaline but there was no where to run.
through my mind. The Stranger began speaking.
your son here…” and he nodded in my and my son’s direction.
on queue, he reached into his left pocket and pulled out two old pennies
blackened with age. Two cents to his name?! It was all too contrived, too
practiced, and I didn’t believe a word he was saying.
that ~ and I doubted my doubt.
voice didn’t waver; his wizened face matched his graying hair.
to the scent inhaled when kissing my children awake when they were
been since he brushed his teeth.
as my son and I brushed past him. My husband handed him a bill and the Stranger
thanked and God blessed him.
contemplating the right thing to do. At the end of the day, this is what I
decided: It doesn’t matter whether or not his story is true; for an old man to
resort to begging, he has to be desperate. The money my husband gave him will
never be missed. It was a reminder we’ve been entrusted with much and given
much. Materially, yes, but more so spiritually. Loved, chosen, forgiven,
redeemed, graced, lavished–every spiritual blessing. E v e r y.
have been brave enough to ask the man his story, made sure he knew he was
loved…and bought him a tooth brush.
Doesn’t that mean generosity, kindness and hospitality is always the right
response? Then it’s not about you or the stranger or the circumstance, it’s
about a simple, God-glorifying response.
smelled like a zoo.
In a decades-old, scandalous affair with her
husband, Robin also confesses mad crushes on her three teens. As Southern as
sugar-shocked tea, she’s a recovering people pleaser who advocates talking to
strangers. A memoirist, Compassion International Blogger, and Maker-upper of
words, Robin writes for her own site, PENSIEVE,
and also for (in)courage by DaySpring (a subsidiary of Hallmark) and Simple
Mom. She loves to get to know readers through their blog comments and on
Twitter and Pinterest. www.pensieve.me