|As a child, I met an elderly man.
He had very little in life, besides a panhandler can.
I remember a few children who gave what they could.
And a few others that said that if they had it they would.
But many walked away with a look of distaste on their face.
A few remarked that he was just a worthless bum on the streets.
His own daughter drove by daily without saying a peep.
But even with being treated as an outcast, he always kept a smile on his face.
I never understood how, or even why, as he hadn't eaten in weeks.
I could only imagine the pain that he faced.
It remained that way for quite some time.
And as I grew older, I often would sit by his side.
He was gentle in mannerism, and kind when he spoke.
In a little black notebook, he wrote of his love for the world and of his hopes.
He ignored the mockery, and in return, he would pray for their souls.
Never holding a grudge, if anything he learned to love them even more.
Sometimes he would gather flowers for the lonely widow down the road.
She had no one to love, and to her, it meant the world.
I felt admiration for him in the sense that he never grew cold.
To him, kindness was worth more than silver or gold.
Sometimes the local bread baker would spare him a loaf.
He was always grateful for the kindness received.
He never complained about being in need.
And then one morning he had passed away on the street.
The world passed by as he grew frail and weak.
Everyone but the widow decided to leave.
She cried at the loss, as only he remained in her life.
And in his hand, she found his notebook clenched tight.
She opened it up, and it had a note for us.
So she waited in the rain to show it to me.
I gave her a hug and thanked her dearly.
Next, we sat on the curb to read his story.
In it, he said what he never dared speak.
" I was born as a man, from my father in heaven.
He blessed me with life and the love of his children.
And although the wicked had hurt and scorned him.
He knew that they had no control over it.
He prayed to his father to make them all whole.
And as his life slipped away, he found his way home."