Today Hannah and I had a bunch of errands to run and we found ourselves in the City Center of Luxembourg around lunch time.
It was cold but sunny and all of the cafes had heat lamps on their outdoor patios.
We got a couple of sandwiches, a chamomile tea for me, a chocolate milk for her and settled into a table under one of the toasty lamps.
Across the square I saw a man with a cardboard sign. He was sitting outside of one of those touristy shops that sells postcards with a picture of the Duke of Luxembourg – 3 for €1.
I don’t know about you, but when I see someone doing this my heart breaks.
I wonder how they got there?
Are they addicted or mentally ill?
Don’t they have family to rescue them from this?
Hannah jolted me back from my thoughts.
“Mommy, do you know what darn it means?”
“Well, yea. Sometimes people say darn it when they drop something or maybe if they spill something.”
“Oh. Do you think that French people say darn it in French?”
”Probably. I’m sure there’s a French word that means darn it, but I don’t know what it is.”
“Mommy, what were you looking at?”
“Well, do you see that man over there? I’m very sad for him because he doesn’t have money or food or even a house. He’s hungry and asking people for money to buy food.”
“Oooooh. But where does he sleep? Does he camp? Maybe he can stay at our house. We could share our food.”
And with that, we finished our lunch and went back into the café.
Hannah held my hand as we walked over to the man.
We handed him a bag containing a chicken sandwich, frites and a coffee.
He looked at us, surprised and said, “Merci. Merci. Merci. Beaucoup.”
“De rein,” I said, the standard reply to merci.
As we walked away, I sort of laughed at the irony of what I said to him. It’s nothing.
A chicken sandwich and a coffee is nothing to me, but it was quite a bit of something to him.
”Mommy, that man said thank you three times. He was using his good manners.”
“I know, honey. That’s because it made him happy that we gave him something to eat.”
”Did it make Jesus happy?”
”It sure did.”
We passed him one more time on our way out of the city center and he smiled and nodded our way. I don’t have a picture to go with this post, out of respect, of course.
But I don’t need one.
The picture in my mind is enough – my little girl, just four years old, seeing a side of the world she’s never seen.
And that tender little heart of hers…