We escaped the heat of the South Texas summer evening by ducking into the brisk air-conditioning of the downtown parking garage lobby. Approaching the "pay station", I pulled out my wallet and readied my cash.
The machine accepted my parking card and asked me politely for $6. Fair enough. I loaded my 5-dollar bill into the machine. The machine rejected it. Again, I fed the machine. Again, it spit my money back at me.
On the opposite side of the lobby, an elderly African-American man was having similar trouble. The Coke vending machine was rejecting his coins, forcefully ejecting them onto the floor after each attempted payment. The man would calmly bend over, collect his coins, and try again. He looked exhausted. His heavy packs were no doubt an incredible strain on that 100-degree day (that's 37 celsius for our African friends). He was obviously homeless. And obviously thirsty.
Stefani, in a simple act that speaks as to why I love her so much, took a dollar from my hand and walked over to the man. Together, they fed the machine and watched as an ice-cold Diet Coke rolled into the hands of one very thirsty man who had seen better days. "Blessed" he kept saying as he looked into her eyes. Blessed. We left him with another dollar, offering to buy his next bit of relief from the heat. He left us with a very simple reminder of what we are. Blessed.