The first time I saw him, he was giving a bottle of water to the homeless woman standing at the corner, showing her cardboard sign to tourists and temple-goers. I looked away to check that my sisters and brothers were with me, and when I looked back, he was walking away, back to where he'd come from.
I led my sisters and brother onto the temple grounds, where we met up with my dad and older sister. After a while, the heat and things had us all feeling impatient, so we decided to wait for my mother inside the visitor's center. As we walked around the outside wall ('cause you can't go straight from the temple grounds to the visitor's center. You have to go out and around) we clung to the bit of shade that the wall provided. This made it harder to walk side by side. I ended up behind most of my family by the time we got to the visitor's entrance for Temple Square. It was right outside that entrance where I saw the man from before. The one who'd given that woman a bottle of water.
I looked at him and smiled. He smiled back and said, "Spare something for someone in need?" as he held his cardboard sign.
I apologetically replied, "I'm sorry, I don't have anything," which was true, unless he needed a fine-tip pen, or a blank black book full of words a stranger had written.
He continued to smile with a new understanding look, and then said in the same friendly tone he'd used before, "Pray for me then."
My smile got even bigger. It did. I felt it. I didn't control it, it did it all by itself!
I said "I will!" and continued trying to keep up with my family.
I had to take a few long strides to walk next to my younger sister's again. They both have longer legs than I do, darn it.
It was a while before my smile returned to a normal size.
I mean, that guy is COOL. He has nothing, but he's incredibly generous. (He gave half of the water he'd obtained to that other woman!) He sees plenty of faces every day that belong to people with much more than he has, but he's still so friendly! I couldn't offer him anything tangible. But whether or not I happened to be the praying sort, he asked me to pray for him. He understood that I couldn't give him something that day, but he knew of another way I could help him. He asked, without hesitation.
That guy is COOL!
I really respect him. And admire him. He seemed to have so much happiness in him, and he just wanted it to be spread around. Generous!
Man, that guy is cool.