He said, "Well I brought you a pair of work boots to give out to somebody who needs them"
I took the dusty boots and looked into his eyes as he held onto them for just a second longer. I realized that these were his personal combat boots and that he was a soldier who had just returned home.
I said to him, "You are a true hero, doing amazing things for people who will never know your name, thank you for just doing the right thing even when others tear you down." He shook my hand and said "I should be telling you the same thing...sorry about the blood on them...." I watched him walk away through the crowd of volunteers and survivors and have never forgotten that moment. It made me think of Jesus. He gave these very simple sounding instructions to his followers. Carry your cross DAILY. sounds easy but eventually you realize that you are going to take a real pounding by the world, stones and words and all kinds of hate. Jesus carried it anyway and he asked us to do the same thing. Some days I envision him coming through the crowd and handing it to us...and saying.."sorry about the blood".