As I was crossing the bridge on Michigan Avenue, I noticed a man begging for money, saying that he needed food. He had a two-year-old little boy with him and the man was pleading with everyone saying that he just wanted some food to feed his little boy. I only had a credit card, so I told him that I didn't have any cash and kept walking, but then I started feeling bad that I didn't offer to help at all. I thought of the little boy and couldn't help but think of my nieces and nephews.
At first I was thinking that I couldn't help him out because it was a Sunday and I didn't want to break the sabbath, but then I tried to think of what the Savior really would've done in that situation. I was a couple of blocks past him but felt like I should turn around, so I did. I walked up to him and said, "Hey, you need food?"
The man nodded.
"Cross the street with me," I said. "There's a Subway half a block south of here."
He winced upon hearing Subway and breathed in through his teeth in disappointment and said, "Aw man, Subway?"
I was surprised that he didn't want to eat fresh.
"Were you hoping to go some place else?" I asked.
"I dunno, I was thinkin' like McDonalds or somethin'. You know, to get a Happy Meal...for the kid," he said, pointing to his son.
Apparently beggers can be choosers.
I asked him if there was a McDonalds close by and he told me there was one about six-and-a-half blocks north on Michigan. I started to see where he was going with this.
"Alright, let's start walking," I said.
"Aw man," he said in a whiney tone. "That's pretty far. I don't wanna walk that far. I was prob'ly gonna to take the bus."
At that point, I was so frustrated with this guy that I just walked away from him. I couldn't take it anymore. I was bummed out. I couldn't believe how demanding this guy was when I tried to help him, and how selfish it was of him to make his son stand in the cold so he could get cash, not food, from people.
It reminded me of all the people that would try to hit me up for money on my mission. After I told one guy in Toronto that I didn't have any money he said, "Well, don't you have a credit card or something? Can't you go to the ATM?" The nerve.
The one time I really felt like we should give a guy money I didn't have any, so I told my senior companion to give him some. My companion handed him five or ten dollars and then we both watched the guy we had just helped walk across the street to the Beer Store to load up for the weekend. I was so mad I could barley stand it.