Last night, it was 6 degrees outside and with the wind chill factor, it was -11. I stopped at a gas station in the city where a young boy in a hoodie was asking for $1 to ride the bus. I figured he must be hustling for someone somewhere, since what young boy would be out in this weather in a hoodie? But, he was for real. Once he got his dollar, he pulled his arms into his hoodie and went to sit in the bus shelter and wait for the bus.
In the FREEZING COLD.
In a Hoodie.
I saw a case of extreme frostbite written all over this situation. So, even though we had our vicious chihuahua in the car with us, my kids and I offered him a ride. Our little dog doesn't take well to strangers, so he growled. I'm not sure if the kid was grateful at this point, or just wishing he had never accepted this ride in the first place, since no one told him that "Cujo" was going to be in the backseat.
My 8yo son fed the dog the rest of his chicken to keep him quiet. It worked for a few minutes. I just adjusted the heat in a feeble attempt to drown out the growls and promised the boy that the kids would not let him go. I just hoped that his desire to be warm was outweighing his fear of our little psycho beast.
We tried to make some small talk to ease the awkwardness of the whole thing. Turns out, he would have taken TWO busses and walked several blocks to get home.
IN A HOODIE.
I was so glad that I had the time and the means to get him home safely. But then I had to wonder about all the kids that I didn't happen to run into at a gas station. All the kids that might not get to ride home in a warm car.
So tonight, I pray for those kids.
I pray for the cold kids.
The hungry kids.
The homeless kids.
I pray for all those who have less than enough and I thank my lucky starts that for today, we still have enough.