A couple weeks ago, I popped into Goodwill on my way home from work. I’ve been a thrifter for decades, those stores can be a big help for a woman with a tight budget.
As I wandered through the household section I passed a man who was clearly homeless. He had that disheveled appearance; thin with long, uncombed hair, soiled and ragged clothes, and worn out shoes. His only possession? A blanket tossed over his shoulder.
I didn’t pay much more attention to him until we both hit the checkout lines at the same time. I finished signing my credit card receipt and looked over to see the cashier ringing up his purchase.
What I saw took me by surprise, he wasn’t buying shoes or the clothes that he desperately needed. No, instead he was buying two hard cover books. Of all things. He didn’t even have a backpack to carry them in.
That hit me hard, so I tapped the cashier on the shoulder (yes, violating social distancing, I know) and handed her my card. I told him to keep the money that he had crumpled in his hand.
I didn’t want to embarrass him or make him uncomfortable and I doubt I’ll ever see him again, but I really would’ve liked to have known his story. Because there’s definitely a story there…