Colin Diaz, president and CEO of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce and a supporter of SFTH, recently had an amazing experience with a homeless man and the shoes on his own feet. Thank you Colin for sharing. This is his story:
Last summer, in the “dog days of July”, I went to meet my wife and daughter at my sister-in-law’s house. It was a hot summer day. I was turning onto her street and was stopped by a barefoot homeless man crossing the street. I know that he was barefoot because of the deliberate care her was showing to how he picked up and put down his feet. Besides not having shoes, the asphalt had to be well over 100˚, so I could see how much visible pain the man was in.
Once he crossed the street, I was struck with a decision. I wanted to give him shoes, but I no longer had my extra gym shoes in the car. I felt horrible that I wasn’t able to help the gentleman and was riddled with the guilt until I parked across the street from my sister-in-law’s house. Once parked, I prayed about the situation, hoping for a resolution and shelter for the gentleman, as well as some sort of direction as to what I should have done. I genuinely knew what I should have done, but was upset that I let the opportunity pass by because of indecision and traffic.
When I got out of the car to cross the street, I happened to see the man again – only this time he was seated on the curb adjacent to my sister-In-law’s driveway. He had finally stopped walking, only to sit for a few minutes and massage his badly bruised and burned feet. I knew what I had to do. I walked up to him, took off the shoes I was wearing and gave them to him. I apologized in advance, because I was certain that my size 14 shoes were going to be much too large for him. Instead, I found out that they fit him perfectly and that he always had trouble finding any shoes that fit or that soothed his feet. Immediately his personality changed, he perked up and gave me a hug. I asked him if I could pray for him, and he said yes.
It was a deeply powerful moment for both of us – one that was extremely humbling and uplifting. Once I finished praying for him, I turned towards my sister-in-law’s house and realized that my 5 year old daughter, 7 year old niece, and 3 & 4 year old nephews were in the window watching the exchange. When I came into the house, they wanted to hear all about it and thought that it was “so cool” that I helped that man out so that his feet felt better. I was raised to be giving, and I am glad to be passing on that message.
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