And Not-So-Random Acts

Vegas homeless

Image via Wikipedia

“Oh, thanks – I’m STARVING!” His name is Nathaniel, couldn’t be more than early 20’s – if that. I had driven around the corner to make sure I got a sack lunch to someone on another corner, but God had this young man waiting for me. Don’t get me wrong, the others were all grateful. But Nathaniel – well, for whatever reason, this young man stole my heart.

Yes, today it was my turn.  So many times I have promised myself I would have something stashed in the car to give away when I am driving through downtown, and every time it gets pushed to the back burner, forgotten in the rush of my everyday life. Today was going to be different. I had to go across town again for another appointment, and made sure to give myself extra time to make a dozen sack lunches. Nothing elaborate – PB&J sandwiches, a bottle of water, an orange, and a napkin.  I just happened to have a surplus and decided I wanted to use it to bless someone else.  So off I went, packing my sack lunches with me and waiting for the opportunities to present themselves. I found people in all the usual places, and then one caught my eye in a place I hadn’t seen before. I turned the corner to circle back and get him a lunch…and that’s how I found Nathaniel.

He was the only one I actually had a couple of minutes at the light to talk with.   I lowered the window when I saw I would have a red light – asked if he was interested in lunch. Then his response above – and he asked “what, are you coming from work or something?”  I said no, I just had some sack lunches I wanted to give away and was on my way home from an errand. He took the sack, looked at me still in disbelief, and put his hand out – “Thank you. My name is Nathaniel.” I shook his hand and said, “You’re welcome, and my name is Debbie”. His face lit up even more and he blurted out “That’s my mom’s name!” Me, with a smile: “Well, good – you’ll remember me, then!” And the light turned green and I was on my way.  Still tonight, hours later and my mind keeps going back to Nathaniel. I wonder what his circumstances really are, and where his family might be. I would love to know more about him, talk to him a bit. And I hope that he remembers the kindness of a stranger who bears his mother’s name – and he calls her to say hello…

Most of all though, I wonder what other onlookers may have thought, wonder if it will cause another to do something similar. Will it be you?



  1. This is beautiful! (As is your blog idea!) I often give $ to people in need, but I really LOVE the idea of giving them food. I will go like you on FB ~ look for me too, as we are kindred spirits. And if you’re looking for kindness topics, then I know some Fairies you have to meet. 😉

    • Thank you, Kate! I am always reluctant to give money because I never know what it will be used for, but this way I know I have fed body and soul with an act of kindness. I like to think that my response will reflect the love of God. It doesn’t always go that way, but that’s what prayer is for. 🙂

  2. […] my own advice from an earlier post (HERE), I have kept a supply of breakfast and/or granola bars in my glove box the last couple of […]

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