Last week was a tough week for everyone.
There was the devastation in southeastern Texas.
The evacuees who were sent all over the state — including Bell County.
And just the reminder that Mother Nature is bigger than ourselves.
Maybe that is what drove me to have dinner with a homeless man.
Last Saturday, I stopped at Planet Fitness for an early morning workout. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a homeless man sitting on his sack, not paying attention to anyone or anything.
Unlike a number of homeless people, he wasn’t begging and looking for spare change on the ground.
Nearly nine hours after I got out of work, I returned to the gym — I really have nothing to do these days but work, eat, sleep, work out — the same man was sitting near the front of the gym.
He softly said “hi” as I walked by. Being my second workout of the day, it was a quick one involving some weight training and a short walk.
He was sitting there looking helpless, so I asked Kevin if he was hungry.
He was, but his only concern was where was he going to throw his bag.
I made room in the back of my sedan and we took off for Bush’s Chicken — my favorite chicken joint in Killeen. Along the way Kevin talked about being married at one point, growing up in Killeen, playing football, the Kangaroos’ nickname, and being homeless.
Kevin says he lives at a church sometimes and can fit into a homeless shelter sometimes. A funny thing happened when the food arrived. Suddenly the talking ended and two hungry dudes commenced to eating.
I ordered the single-piece dinner for myself and gave Kevin the two-piece meal.
Since the dining room was closed, we enjoyed dining in the Malibu.
Kevin asked to be dropped off near downtown, so we started down Rancier Avenue. My dinner mate finished his chicken as I drove. While on the way, Kevin started reliving some of his younger days, pointing out places along the way. Finally, I dropped him off near a church and gas station near downtown.
He thanked me, picked up his sack and walked away.
On the drive back to Harker Heights, I couldn’t stop thinking how fortunate I have been in life. I grew up in a two-parent home for most of my life. I had the opportunity to attend college and somewhere down the line learned that it takes hard work to succeed in life.
Looking at the chicken crumbs in the passenger’s seat, I wonder what was going to happen to Kevin — someone about fours year younger that myself who has struggled in life.
Maybe it was the hurricane or its effects that drove me to share dinner with a homeless man.
Let’s hope that feeling of helping others less fortunate in life continues to shine.
Jeff Steers is editor of the Copperas Cove Herald. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7464.