Mikayla and Ryan relax on a bench in front of a local sweet spot following their first day of private school in Wheaton, Ilinois in suburban Chicago. They were waiting for their father to return with a hot dog for Anthony, a homeless man who was begging on the steps of the ice cream parlor. When the pair exited the ice cream shop with their siblings, Kathryn and Daniel, and parents, Anthony sat in the doorway and asked their father if he had a few dollars so he could buy a meal. The siblings’ father told Anthony he would be happy to buy Anthony a meal if that is what Anthony wanted. Anthony said, there is a hot dog stand around the corner. He said, I’ll take one with everything on it. Their father said, ok.
There was no pity, no bleeding heart, no embarrassment. Only need, request, and fulfillment. No fear, no suspicion. Mikayla and Ryan sat and waited for their father to run an errand. It could have been a trip to the local hardware store. It could have been a trip to the bank. Or a trip to a hot dog stand to buy a guy a meal. It didn’t matter. The act seemed to them about as extraordinary as any of these other errands.