“Sir, do you need a watch? Sell it to you, cheap!” an old man, slumped on the sidewalk, held out his last prized possession. The silver pocket watch twirled from its chain, dented and well-loved. The man’s eyes cried out for help, but he wouldn’t beg, just offer things to sell to get by.
A sharply dressed man looked down at him. A chill went up his spine as he watched the older man with his watch. He raised his gloved hands to his face, blowing on them to keep them warm. His woolen coat, normally hot on his back even on the coldest days, suddenly felt as thin as silk.
He was a stranger to this town, and felt for the man on the street. He knew he needed to do something, but buying that watch would not help him. A voice in the back of his mind repeated, “The best gift you can give is your time.” He kneeled down, meeting the man on the street eye to eye.
“I have no need for your watch, but I am not familiar with this town. Could you tell me where I might get a good burger?”
The old man smiled and his eyes lit up. “The diner on 5th makes the best burgers in town. Their staff is great; they always give me hot cocoa when I stop by.”
“Would you show me the way?” He stretched out his hand to help the old man up. “I’m Steve by the way.”
The old man stumbled up to his feet. His coat was merely an old quilt, tattered by age and grayed by grime from living on the street. He wrapped it around himself tightly and tottered along down the road. “This way, sonny. Best burger in town. I’m Jon by the way.”
Jon showed Steve to the diner. When they arrived, Jon clapped Steve on the shoulder. “Thanks for the company. Enjoy your burger.” He turned to walk away.
Steve called out, “I could use some company, would you like to join me?” He paused as Jon turned to him. “My treat!”
Jon smiled a little, “I can get myself a hot cocoa.” He looked up at the steamed up windows, knowing the warmth would do him some good. “Sounds good.” Steve opened the door for Jon and let him lead the way.