the day was winding down and i had left the resource center. it was a fairly nice day. the sun was out and the temps weren't bad for december. so i walked to the train station for one last coffee before i went to where i sleep. the amtrak police haven't quite figured me out yet. they think i'm homeless but they're not quite sure. i go there for coffee at odd hours. every now and then i do catch a short train, so it's not like they see me just hanging out there. but they see me talking to other homeless people. i got my coffee and decided to sit in the little cafe area for a minute or two.
at the table across from me was a woman...probably in her early thirties...with her young daughter. she was a very pretty little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes that sort of studied everything around her. she looked at me for a few seconds so i looked up and smiled at her. i winked alittle and she smiled back. she did a little girl wink and got embarrassed. i looked at her mother and smiled and then continued on with my coffee. across the staion lobby i spotted a homeless man named larry. i know larry, well, as much as anyone can know larry. i knew him well enough to know he was broke. i dug in my pocket and after i got all the lint out i pulled out a dollar and a quarter and walked over to larry. i spoke...he looked and said hey and smiled alittle. i asked him if he was alright. he said yeah. i asked him if he wanted a coffee. he said yeah. so i gave him the 1.25 and walked away. larry's not much of a conversationalist.
when i sat back down the little girl was looking at me sort of intently. i asked her what her name was. she said...brittany. i asked...well miss brittany how old are you. she said....i'm five...last week. i said..wow. i smiled at her and thought that was the end of it. she kept looking at me...pretty intently...her blue eyes sort of frowed up with thought. then she said....mister...why did you give that man money? well, i wasn't sure what to say...so i just said...well brittany...he doesn't have any money right now and he wanted a cup of coffee. she said...well...i don't drink coffee. i said...that's probably good. but she kept looking at me. then she said....is that man a homeless person? i paused and said....why yes...he is for now. she looked away...so i thought that would be it. a minute or so passed but i could see somehow this was bothering brittany. she was very quiet and kept looking at larry and looking at me and looking at her mother. i was starting to get alittle uncomfortable actually. but then ...this five year old child did something that changed my entire day. she pulled a dollar bill out of her pocket...walked over to larry and gave it to him. she then smiled and promplty walked back to the table and sat back down and looked right at me and said....they said in church that i was suppose to help people. i looked at her mother who was probably as stunned as i was. her eyebrows raised alittle. then her train arrived on the tracks and they left. brittany turned and waved as she was leaving...so i waved back. she turned her head to look at larry as she walking away.
i sat there for a few minutes. i didn't really want to leave. this five year old child with the big blue eyes had just done something so incredibly generous that i just didn't know what to do or what to think. the whole thing just wasn't registering with me. it was so....wonderful. it was the epitomy of giving for no reason other than she knew it was the right thing to do. it was the backbone of helping other people and the roots of charity that sometimes you think are missing and sometimes you wonder even exists. this five year old child had just renewed my faith and my belief that at our core we are suppose to help people.
i'm a hard man, but this almost brought a tear to my eye when i thought about it. now i know why i write this blog and why i continue to advocate for the homeless. i really do.
merry christmas brittany. thank you.
see you around town