Homeless in Fresno

Tasha and I were driving home from Fresno yesterday and decided to take a detour. When we hit the light at the base of the off ramp we saw a homeless couple on the corner. The car in front of us handed them something out the window and our hearts broke as we saw him run to the car with such a thankful, desperate look on his face. We remembered that we had a bag of dried fruit and granola bars that she had packed for the day. I made a u-turn and headed back toward the corner where we saw them. I went to the back of the car to get the food bag and noticed a bag with our toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste which I had packed that morning also. I didn’t know why I packed them for just a day trip but when I saw them there I remembered something a friend had shared with me that his pastor had said. “If you have two of something, one of them isn’t yours.” We got out of the car with both bags and headed over to the corner. It started to sprinkle as we crossed the off ramp to get to the couple. I offered them the food and they immediately lit up. Then I hesitantly pulled out the other bag. I began by saying that they weren’t new but… The man’s face exploded with excitement, his eyes got misty, and he was speechless. His wife looked at him and said how much they needed and wanted toothbrushes but he had explained earlier that they didn’t even have toothpaste but that bag had it all. We introduced ourselves and found out that their names were Frank and Cecilia Church. We all shook hands and I commented on how cold his hands were. Tasha immediately without hesitation took off her coat and gave it to Cecilia. She didn’t know what to say. I offered my sweater to the man but he declined either out of pride or shock. I told him that he could only have it on the condition that he gave me a hug. He laughed, and hugged me before I could pull it off over my head. Tasha was crying. I shared that we were moving to Fresno this summer. The man shared with us how he and his wife had met and that they had been married for 21 years. We talked and laughed for a few more minutes before we said our goodbyes. Before we ran across the off ramp back to our cars I looked back and saw Frank helping his wife put the coat on. They waved as we drove back past them and we honked back as we entered the on-ramp to come home.

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