Many times in my life, God’s handiwork has made its presence evident.
As I waited my turn to pull away from the Walmart parking lot on 4th Street in Longview, I passed a dirty homeless man with his loyal, but emaciated, four-legged friend. His sign read “Need food for my dog.”
He had obviously not showered for quite some time and appeared to be hungry and tired himself. How selfless he was to care for his dog first.
The dog’s bones were protruding just as the cheekbones of the man’s unshaven face were.
My saddened gaze was suddenly broken. A honk from a few cars back reminded me there were people behind me with their own schedules to keep.
I assumed I had sat there for only 15 seconds, but for these too-busy-to- care drivers, it was 13 seconds too long.
I pulled out, turned around and pulled back into Walmart’s parking lot. I was overcome with a feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I quickly ran into Walmart for my second time, grabbing several items: peanut butter, bread, plastic silverware, water, a dog bowl, dog food and a small bag of treats.
As I left the building, the overwhelming feeling became less intense.
I had done the right thing.
Passing my car on foot, I walked the 200 some odd yards where the man and dog were still standing.
I felt in my heart this man deserved to be given these things directly instead of hurriedly through a semi-opened car window.
Startled by my voice, the man’s saddened eyes met mine.
Both man and animal had that certain look. The look of longing.
The man’s gaze made its way to my hands that were cramping from the weight of the bags.
He finally realized why I was there.
He rushed to relieve me of the heavy plastic bags and his hardened face began to soften as he examined the contents of the bags.
Suddenly, the bags fell to the ground and as I began to bend down to gather the scattered items I was met with a surprising gesture.
I had been embraced in a genuine hug. I hugged him back.
After a brief period, he released me, glancing into my eyes with a look that can only be described as heart-felt gratitude.
He then gathered the dog bowl, filled it with food and water and sat it on the ground as his excited friend began to gobble up every last morsel.
As I walked back to my car, the man called out to me, “God bless you, young lady.”
The whole experience taught me two things: 1) No matter how hard things are, true friends stick by your side and 2) The simple things in life that many people take for granted are the things many pray for.
God placed that man and his loyal companion in my path for a reason.
As I drove away watching the man eat his peanut butter sandwich as he pet his dog, I had a revelation.
I was compelled to help a complete stranger not only because it was the right thing to do, but also because I knew I had been called upon to do the work of God.
Maegan Mitchell is a sophomore journalism major from Longview.