TITLE: The Young Man
By Ricky Flowers
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By Rick Flowers
January 1, 2009
As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed him right away. He was a young man, couldn’t have been more than nineteen or twenty years old. He was sitting on the cold sidewalk strumming a guitar, and I must say, doing quite well. I noticed right away that he wasn’t making eye contact with anyone and everyone was just passing by as if he were not even there. As I got out of my car I looked at him and said hello as I made my way into the store. He looked up and nodded and said hello back.
I could see sadness in his eyes that I haven’t seen in anyone in a long time. After I made my purchase I exited the store, again walking right by him but this time I didn’t look at him or speak. After I got in my car I sat there for a minute trying to figure out the feeling that was going through me and why. I looked out my side view mirror. I could hear him playing and I could only see part of him. I wondered why he was there on this cold night. I wondered if he was homeless and if he needed money. I wondered if offering him money would insult him in the off chance he was simply there for the patron’s entertainment. As I drove off I quickly discarded that notion. Something inside me told me otherwise.
As I drove out of the parking lot, I glanced over again and then was on my way. The only thing on my mind was this young man, sitting there on the cold ground playing his guitar. This feeling inside me became so strong and was telling me I should go back and help him out. This is not something I usually do and in fact, I have only done it a couple times in my life but I couldn’t shake the feeling and it was stronger than anything I have felt in many, many years.
About a half mile from the store, I turned the car around and headed for the ATM as if driven by some unseen force. The thoughts going through my mind were of how much money I blow on just stupid insignificant stuff or at the club so what would a few dollars for someone in need matter. I quickly decided it wouldn’t and instantly knew it was the right thing. After withdrawing the money from the ATM, I turned and headed back to the store. He was still sitting there strumming the guitar. As I pulled up I was nervous, I’m not sure why but I was. I could hear myself ask him, “Are you playing for tips?” He looked up and smiled, even giggled a bit I think and sort of shrugged his soldiers and said, I guess and so I handed him the money and told him to take care. He looked relieved and said, “God bless you.”
As I drove off I had a split second of regret thinking that he would just buy beer or drugs or something and again, quickly discarded the notion. I realized it didn’t really matter what he did with it, I had done what I was led to do, however strange the circumstance. I then felt this great sense of satisfaction and comfort inside that I haven’t felt in a long time. I had done a good thing, I had done the right thing and someone else was in a better place because of it.
Thank you God for the opportunity, I know it was you. Nothing else could have convinced me to do it but you. May your blessings be on the young man and all those less fortunate than I have been blessed to be.
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