By Tim Moody
I saw him as I pumped gas in my car at the Shell Station. It was hot outside and he was sitting in the shade in front of the convenience store. An older man, thin, African American, with a scruffy two or three-day growth of white stubble and shaggy salt and pepper hair. As I walked into the convenience store to get a soft drink he smiled at me with uneven teeth. There was a warmth in his smile. He didn’t ask for anything. But I knew he was there to accept any change anyone might give him.
I returned to my air-conditioned car and stared at him for a minute. As I drove out I went around to where he was and rolled down my window. I motioned for him to come over. He slowly got up and walked to my car. “Yes sir?” he said. I handed him some cash and said, “What is your name, friend?“ He said, “Carl.” I said, “You have a good day, Carl.” He smiled and put his hands together and bowed and said, “Oh, God bless you, sir. God bless you.”
I don’t know his situation. But whatever it is I felt an urge to connect with him in some small way. I wanted to know his name. A name carries our identity. It’s the