I scrambled to dump the contents of my change purse into my hand and reached out the window of my car to place it into the grubby hand of the homeless man standing beside the freeway off ramp. His clothes and body were so tattered and worn he simply held a sign that said "Anything helps. God bless."
No reasons about why he was there, no story to grab my heart, just a simple message that is so true, anything helps.
I try to always make eye contact as a sign of respect in these encounters, respect that this is another human being experiencing their life in their own way. Upon meeting his gaze I was met with crystal clear blue eyes and a nearly toothless smile. He opened his rough and worn palm and accepted my small gift and surprised me when he squeezed my hand with both of his and said, "Thank you pretty lady, God bless you." He held my gaze for just long enough for me to understand that he was truly appreciative and I hoped that he knew I did not stand in judgment of him.
I felt so truly blessed, truly blessed by God.