mf_carl

I see so many people that talk down on religion. I’m not the holiest person, however I feel there is a higher power that does exist. It’s really difficult to explain, so I will stop there.

I feel that I’m placed in certain areas, at certain times, to meet certain people. This brings me to the story about CARL. My 12-year-old nephew and myself went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. Out of nowhere here’s this older gentlemen that’s saying excuse me in the softest tone. I thought he was going to tell me about the lights of my truck being on.

As we stopped to allow him to catch up, Carl politely told me that he was hungry. I looked him over in a discreet way to make sure he wasn’t a druggie. Carl was fairly clean and from the look at his expression, he seemed honest. Carl continued speaking, “I don’t need any money. I would just love to get something to eat. I’ve been out in this heat all day and I’m starving.” When I think about it, it was about 101 degrees that day.

I asked him what he wanted to eat. There was a McDonald’s right in Wal-Mart and he kindly motioned in that direction. I introduced my nephew and myself. As we were approaching McDonald’s I asked Carl where he was staying. Carl told me that he was living out of his car. Carl also told me that he was run off the road by a tourist bus and had to go through open-heart surgery. Looking at Carl, he was in bad shape. Later Carl told me he was thankful to be alive.

Carl walked with a hunched back and I wanted to help him. I stopped before we entered McDonald’s and asked Carl if I could take him grocery shopping instead. Of course Carl wanted me to do so but he gave me those puppy dog eyes and said he would be okay with just a meal. I told Carl that I would much rather spend money on him that would last him a couple weeks instead of a night.

I eventually got Carl to allow me to take him grocery shopping. We went down every isle looking for things that he could use. Carl didn’t have too many front teeth so I teased him about getting some chips and hard candy. I had to share a laugh with him to try to ease his nerves. I don’t ever think about what he would do if the shoe was on the other foot, I just wanted to do what I felt was right.

After getting Carl food, plastic cups, and vitamins, I asked him if there was anything else that he needed. Of course Carl said I got him more then enough. I can tell that he was excited. I asked him if he needed a pillow, under wear or any clothes and he said he was thankful for what was in the basket and he begged me to stop.

As the cashier rung up everything Carl stood nervously. He could see the total and I smiled and told him don’t worry about this. I explained to Carl that he was supposed to run into me this night. I honestly felt like I was meant to be there for this man. I asked for change back and placed $50.00 and my cell phone number in his hand.

I told Carl that I too was once homeless at one point in my life. I told him I didn’t have the courage to ask for help. I looked at Carl in his eyes and asked him if he would stay in touch with me and to call me if he needed anything else. Carl nodded his head and said that he would.

As I was sitting in a meeting with Richard Avery a week later from meeting Carl I received a call from a number I didn’t recognize. I answered and it was Carl. Carl told me that he was doing all right and he wanted to once again thank me for what I did for him. I asked him if he needed more food and he told me that he was eating on some of the soup I got him and he was doing much better. The smile that I gave Richard Avery explained how Carl made me feel.

We never know when we will need help. It could be me out there asking for money to feed myself. It could be you. I see so many people ignore homeless people in the street and turn around and feed a homeless cat or stray dog. I’m not saying that it’s wrong or one is better then the other, but I value a human life more. Don’t be quick to judge people that might have just fallen on hard times. You never know, some day it might be you or someone you know that will be asking for help.

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