Every morning, a man would come to the bookstore and cafe where my coworkers and I met. He would ask for a cup of hot water and would sit with it in a chair and observe the people in the store. He wore the same two jackets, gloves and pants every time I saw him: no wallet, no backpack, just his contemplative expression and gentle way of being.
One day, a new barista refused him hot water. He nodded, smiled and said, “Ok, thank you. Have a good day,” and went and sat in his usual chair.
Seeing this, I got up and ordered two cups of hot water, some packets of tea, and a sandwich. I went up to the man and asked him if he wanted some tea and a sandwich. He smiled and asked, “Are you sure?” I insisted and sat with him for a few minutes.
His name was Matthew. I still think about him. He has taught me so many life lessons, and I wish I could repay him with more than a cup of tea and a sandwich.
When we give, we receive tenfold.