A couple nights ago Papa Bear and I were eating supper at a mom n' pop diner. It's a small place, with maybe twenty tables, that serves the best chicken strips and steak fingers in town. We were engaged in conversation about our day and I wasn't paying much attention to the other customers, but Papa Bear was. I am ever oblivious to my surroundings, he is always observant and aware.
Growing quiet, he leaned in and said, "There's a guy and girl over at that table that are eating only lemons. They came in and got some lemon slices from by the iced tea dispenser, placed them on a napkin and are sitting at the table eating them. They didn't go to the counter to place an order."
Before long he noted that they had returned to place a few more slices of lemon on a napkin and take them back to their table to eat. Curious as to who would dine on lemons, I turned around to spot the saddest looking young couple I've ever seen - in their late teens or early twenties, and both very gaunt, though not your typical grungy street people. They didn't appear to be strung-out, as is so often the case. They just looked very tired, sad, and hungry.
I went to use the restroom as we were getting ready to leave, and Papa Bear reported that they had gone up to the counter and requested some soda crackers and were given a few. What struck me most, was that they were sitting here in this small cafe surrounded by people eating dinner, and yet they made no attempt to beg for food or money; they kept their eyes on their own table and each other.
Reaching into his wallet, Papa Bear walked over to their table asked quietly, "If I give you this money, will you please buy yourselves something to eat?"
"Yes, sir!" answered the young man respectfully, and then added "God bless you." The girl with him started to cry.
We left then, we didn't wait to see if they placed an order, though I suspect they probably did. It was obvious that they were starving, and it broke our hearts. I am a believer that it is the intent that matters, Papa Bear is blessed for giving, what the recipient does with it from there is on them. He chose not to embarass them by taking them up to the counter to order, or place an order on their behalf.
This is one of the many things I love about my Papa Bear, he is compassionate. They could have been your children sitting there, they could have been mine. Whatever their story, it was the right thing to do. Papa Bear can always be counted on to do the right thing.