Subway and self-reflection

As I entered a Subway store on Colfax, I noticed some personal belongings sitting outside the door. I walked to the line to order and there, sitting on top of the table next to the order station, was a fellow with a sun-hardened face with outlines of sunglasses clearly visible looking inquisitively at the line prep area. I was unsure of exactly where he was in the cycle of folks passing through, so I proceeded into the line and placed my order. As my sandwich came up, I heard the guy speaking with the line prep about emptying the trash and sweeping the floor, but I was still unsure of exactly what was happening. As I paid for my sandwich, it became clear that he had worked out a deal with the line prep for a sandwich in exchange for work. At that point, I told the cashier to add the cost of his sandwich to my bill. The line prep, which turned out to be the manager, insisted that it was not an option to pay for this guy’s meal. So I gathered my purchase and headed for the door. The guy had already gathered the bags of trash and was walking out the door directly in front of me. As I followed him into the parking lot, my mind scrambled for a way to engage him in a friendly, non-threatening way. He proceeded to the far end of the parking lot and I delivered my sack lunch to my car and waited for him to walk past on his way back into the store. As he approached a knife fell from his pocket and in his haste to pick it up, he kicked it out ahead of him. Eventually he was able to pick it up and quickly stow it away. This made me begin, briefly, to rethink my plan to talk to him. Instead I powered through and approached him. With my hand out-stretched to shake his, I introduced myself and he said his name was Kevin. We made small-talk for a couple of minutes. Then I told him of my conversation inside the store and told him that my life looked much like his 33 years ago, and since accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, my life has looked much different. I relayed that I have been sober since then and I assured him that his life could look different too if only he was willing to have faith. He thanked me for trying to pay for his meal and went silent. Then I pulled the $10.00 from my pocket which was in my envelope to give away and held it tightly in my clenched hand. As I gave him the cash, I expressed my gratitude for him taking the time to talk to me and that I hoped he might use this money to buy himself another meal. He looked me in the eye, thanked me, and said how much he appreciated this. As we went our separate ways, i reflected on my old life some 33 years ago, and how fortunate I was to be in that particular place, physically and mentally, and how God’s grace entered into my heart and produced a sincere desire for a new life. I said a prayer for Kevin and asked God to open his heart. My hope is that the little gift might have had some small impact on Kevin’s life.