Stories of Kindness from Around the World

More than Lunch and a Bowl of Soup

--by wayfarer, posted Jun 18, 2012
Last year I bought lunch for a guy who had scraped his pennies together for a cup of tea. He rewarded me by telling me a little about his life, how he had lost the battle with drink but how faith had turned his life around. Now, when most men his age would be enjoying their retirement, he lived in a hostel and spent his time distributing religious tracts to shops, offices and strangers in the street.
Well, yesterday Julie and I were back in the same coffee shop. Julie looked over my shoulder and saw the same man, sitting there with a solitary cup of tea, dressed as he had been the time before despite the fact that the outside temperature was sub-zero.
We finished our bowls of piping hot soup with crusty bread then I got up and walked over. Knowing he would not remember me I sat down beside him and asked, "How's God's work going?"
He didn't remember who I was but my question had told him what I was.
"God's work is going as God's work goes," he said. "Wonderfully."
"And how about you?"
He pursed his lips. "That doesn't matter."
(As I write this I remember that he had told me the previous year he had some form of cancer.)
"Well, it does," I dared to suggest. "You need to be well to keep on doing the good work."
He shrugged.
"Like today," I said. "It's freezing out there. And it takes a lot of energy to keep going on a day like this. I tell you what. My wife and I just had some of the soup and it was delicious. Really. It was so nice. Let me get you some so you can try it."
He raised a hand of protest, but I ... well, I ignored him. A moment later I sat a hot bowl of soup, a bread roll, and butter in front of him.
"Enjoy!" I said, and walked back to my table before he had a chance to reply.
Julie and I finished our drinks and got our stuff together. As we walked past his table I patted the man's shoulder and said, "Just know you are loved."
He started to say something, changed his mind and instead said, "I do know."
And we went on with our shopping. But this isn't a story about how kind I was. The bowl of soup was the very least of it. It's a reminder (as it was for me) that, even in these days) there are people out there, living alongside society, doing God's work and being totally dependent on God for provision.
And for a brief time yesterday we got to be a small part of God's provision for one of them!


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Readers Comments

cinnamonhead wrote: What a wonderful thing that you did and a wonderful reminder to all of us, to take care of each other and sometimes it comes in the simplest of ways, thanks you.
Blessed2BKind wrote: Thanks for showing you care.
Jana wrote: Such a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing such important words with him and for reminding him that he's loved.
bilkis yusuf wrote: What a wonderful way to help, god bless you
kimj wrote: I think this is really a great story and i love the way u did that for him but he gave you a better gift then you gave him. You gave him soup, he gave you god, god has his ways of reaching us when he wants to. This is really great, thanks for sharing
Joan Y wrote: I've missed your stories, which have all made me understand good will and loving kindness through your example. What a blessed family you must have. Know that you are an inspiration to many that you may not even know.
peanut wrote: God Bless You not for only paying for the soup but for talking with him telling him that he mattered.
trueblue wrote: cool!
Happy7 wrote: What a wonderful story. God uses people. Praise the Lord. Merry Christmas
heartofflesh wrote: Did God put the desire in your heart to help the poor man ? .....most probably......Thank for posting ...

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