I told my mom this story, and she said I should share it with everyone, so here it is:
A few nights ago I had about an hour drive back to my house and it was late, so I stopped at a gas station for gas and a snack to keep me awake on the way home. The check out line inside the gas station mini-market was several people deep. As I cradled my arm full of snacks and sodas, I couldn't help but notice the guy standing in front of me in line. Bald head, muscles bulging out of a white tank top, baggy pants, and one of his many tattoos at the top of his neck read in dark, foreboding lettering, "No Mercy." I wondered what that meant.
We both noticed another guy wandering around inside the mini market who was clearly homeless. Disheveled, kind of wild-eyed, really dirty, wearing worn out everything. He was meandering around the aisles and finally stopped and just stared at a display of snacks. Then the "No Mercy" guy in front of me said something that totally took me by surprise.
"Hey, dude, are you hungry?" No Mercy asked.
"Yeah." homeless guy answers.
"Pick something out. I got you," which sent the homeless guy happily scuttling off to the prepared food section. He returned with a packaged sandwich, handed it to No Mercy and thanked him genuinely.
Dang. I had misread No Mercy. Maybe it was that tat. Maybe it was his look in general. But I didn't expect No Mercy to show mercy like that. I needed to see that after all the bad press all over the media all over our country all the time these days. It truly encouraged me.
I was next in line, and I couldn't help but notice the homeless guy didn't get anything to drink, and who can have a sandwich without a drink? So I said to him, "Well, that guy got your sandwich, I'd be honored to cover a drink for you." He smiled and thanked me, ran off to the sodas, returning with a Mountain Dew. I laughed with him that he must not be planning on sleeping any time soon, picking out a Dew.
Wherever you are, No Mercy and Mountain Dew guy, thank you for reminding me that there are good people everywhere. I believe we all need to take No Mercy's lead and step up those acts of kindness all the more in these difficult days.