The other day I was walking into Walgreen’s and I saw a young man (maybe 18 or 19 years old) sitting huddled up against the wall. His arms were wrapped around his knees and his head was down in his lap. My guides put a light above his head and I knew something was going to happen between us, just like I knew when I encountered the kid I wrote about in the article What’s Under the Hood?
I went into the store and did my shopping. When I came out, I started to walk past the young man and he looked up at me. His eyes were sad; there was despair. This was a person whose light was so dim it looked like it could be snuffed out in a moment.
He said to me “Do you think you could spare some change?” The look on his face told me he expected me to walk away without giving him money. But the light above his head guided me to say, “Of course, let me see what I have.”
I opened my wallet and saw only 2 dollars in it. I gave him the two dollars and he thanked me. But I knew I wasn’t done with him.
I said, “Are you homeless?”
He said, “Yes, Ma’am.”
I said, “Where is your family?”
He said, “Both of my parents are in jail. They’re kind of bad people. I was living with my grandmother but she just lost her job and couldn’t afford to take care of me anymore. I didn’t want to be a burden so I left.”
I said, “Where do you sleep?”
He replied, “First I went to a shelter, but I was really scared while I was there. It didn’t feel safe to me and there are a lot of people there with mental illness. So then I tried sleeping in the park, but that wasn’t much better. I’m so afraid someone is going to attack me. Then I figured out I can sleep on the bus. If I pay the fare, they can’t kick me off until I agree to get off, and I feel safer there because they sometimes have security on there.”
I said, “How old are you?”
He said, “I’m 18.”
I said, “Do you have a plan? What are you going to do to help yourself out of this situation?”
He said, “I’ve got some friends in Riverside, CA who said they would take me in so I could find a job in California. But I don’t have enough money to take the bus there.”
I said, “How much would it cost you to go to California on the bus?”
He said, “$35 dollars.” He said it like he needed a million dollars, it was an impossible amount for him.
In my head I’m thinking, “$35? That’s it? For $35 this kid goes to California, with a place to live, and a family to look after him?”
I opened my wallet again, desperate to find money I knew wasn’t in there. And then I remembered I had $60 tucked away in my purse that I hadn’t put in my wallet yet. I dug around for the money and held it out to him. I said, “Get yourself to California.”
He said, “No, I can’t take that much money. That’s not right.”
I said, “Trust me, kid, you need this a lot more than I do and I’m happy to give it to you.”
He burst into tears, sobbing and shaking. He took the money with trembling hands and stood up. He was crying so hard he couldn’t speak. I gave him a hug and held him for several minutes while he sobbed. When he could speak he said, “You have no idea, just no idea what this means to me. I can’t even believe this is happening. You saved my life, you literally saved my life.”
I said, “What’s your name?”
He said, “I’m TJ.”
I said, “I’m Erin.”
He said, “Why would you do something like this for me? You don’t even know me.”
I said, “Because you placed an order with the universe and the universe heard you. And I’m just the delivery person. I am happy to do this for you.”
He said, “You just have no idea what you’ve done for me. I thought I was going to have to spend many months out on the street, but you just literally saved my life. You are an angel!”
We spoke for a couple more minutes and he embraced me again. I wished him well on his journey. As I got into my car, I saw TJ once again burst into tears of relief, joy, and disbelief, and my eyes were brimming over with tears as well. He started walking towards the bus stop.
I said to the universe, “Thank you for allowing me to help this young man. Thank you for connecting us and bringing him to my attention. And thank you for allowing me to be an instrument of hope for TJ.”
It dawned on me as I was driving home that sometimes what we consider a small act of kindness is a huge life changing moment for someone else.
I felt so grateful to be in a position to help him. I could see from his energy that he was a sweet kid and just needed a little help.
You are somebody’s angel. Right now you have within you the capacity to change someone’s life for the better. A kind word to someone having a bad day, a moment spared with someone who is really lonely, a little act of kindness to someone who hasn’t felt kindness in ages… you can be a positive ripple in the ocean of their troubles.
Look around for the people whose inner lights are flickering and about to go out. See if you can breathe a little life into their flame.
We’re here to help each other, and support one another. Life can be difficult and scary. Be someone’s angel.