It was heartbreaking for me.
On the way to school this morning my son asked me, "Why does that man have his head in the trashcan?"
I knew why, but my mom-instinct wanted to protect him from the truth. The truth was that the man was pulling loaves of day-old bread from the garbage can of a local sandwich shop.
I struggle with how to balance the truth - harsh and heartbreaking as it can be - with protecting him from the realities of the world. If he doesn't know that there are people who aren't as fortunate, will he truly learn what is means to give?
Don't get me wrong. He knows that there are less-fortunate people. His Sunday school offering goes to a child sponsored through World Vision. We participate in food drives and Operation Christmas Child. But seeing it up close, at his age - I struggle.
But I want to teach him to be a giver. So later on today, after the excitement of field day is over, I'll talk with him. We'll sit face-to-face and I'll tell him the truth. Frankly, I think it's much better to explain it to him that way than while I'm driving the mommy-van down a city street watching traffic signals and pedestrians. He needs to hear the truth when neither of us is distracted. So I'll tell him the truth, and then we'll talk about what we can do to help make the world, at least our corner of it, just a little bit better.