On our way to church one beautiful spring morning, a young man was sitting by an intersection with his cardboard sign asking for money. As we waited for the light to change, I motioned him over to the car and gave him some money. I have a routine I follow under these conditions: I smile, hand the person money, shake his hand, ask his name, and ask what he plans to do with the money. I usually then ask, “Where do you live?”
This man’s response was “Here and there.” Any money he received he said he was going to use to get back on his feet.
Then this young man, Keith, took over the conversation. He elaborated, “I lost my license, and then I lost my job. But I know things are going to get better.”
As I started to drive away, I wished him luck and then he responded with a statement that will stay with me a long time. He said, “Well, you have to go to hell before you can make it to heaven.”
Some of the most poignant thoughts will come from the people you least expect, whether or not you agree with them. You simply have to start a conversation to find out.