While walking about in town today doing errands, I saw the man who has a deformity in his legs. I’ve blogged about him before. His condition makes it impossible for him to walk upright, so he must crawl on his hands and knees. He wears flip flops on his hands to protect them from the asphalt, and rubber boots on his knees. My heart is torn in two every time I see him, but I always say ‘Hola, como estás? (Hello, How are you)” And each time, he smiles a smile that covers his whole face and just lights up, so excited that someone acknowledged him, someone SAW him, someone SPOKE to him.
Today, he was in the middle of 2 lane traffic, as he usually is, begging, pleading for handouts from any of the passing cars, as he cannot work due to his handicap, and this is his only manner of survival. He saw me walking on the sidewalk and in that traffic, cars passing him on both sides, he starts waving to me and smiling. I yell out, “Buenos Dias (Good morning)”, smiling and waving back. Then I stopped, waiting for the traffic to slow, so as to walk over and give him a donation in his plastic cup. But he couldn’t wait. He started out in the oncoming traffic, crawling on his hands and knees, and as he neared me, stopped in one lane, with cars coming, and took his flip flop from off his precious hand, and reached it out to shake mine, while saying in Spanish, “It’s a pleasure to say ‘hello’ to you and shake your hand”!!!! I nearly burst into tears!!! For you see the pleasure was truly all mine. So keeping the tears in as best I could, I smiled the biggest smile ever, and shook his hand, asking how he was today and made small talk with him for a few moments. I walked away feeling that nothing could be more beautiful than what I had just experienced.
Someone acknowledged that man today. Someone spoke to him. Someone TOUCHED him. But truly, even more than that, he had absolutely no idea how very much HE had TOUCHED someone today!!!!