While in a Kroger parking lot at night, a man heard a black boy call out to him. As he neared the car the boy was standing beside, the tinted window rolled down. What he saw staring back at him was too much, taking him on a “journey of pain.”
As Matt White stopped at a Kroger, he found himself admittedly upset over nothing important and losing sight of all he had to be thankful for. With life getting to him, he hurried toward the store. Then, he heard someone speak up. A young black boy, standing next to a running car, called out to Matt with a sheepish voice.
Unable to understand what the bashful boy was saying, Matt walked closer. As he suspected, the boy was asking for money, but things were about to become much more clear as the tinted window of the car the boy was standing near rolled down while they spoke. In a matter of 20 minutes, God would take Matt on a “journey of pain, brokenness, and hurt to love, awe, and thankfulness.”
“He was asking for food for his family,” Matt revealed, adding that little heads poked out of the open window. “It was a car full of the most precious smiles and eyes I’ve ever seen. And momma was in the driver’s seat, trying to explain their situation through her anxiety and shame.” They were sleeping in the parking lot of Kroger, Matt said, adding that the details were too personal to tell but the mom’s eyes told the whole story.
Matt felt the flood gates begin to open as he looked at the car full of hungry boys. “Seeing hunger on their little faces as they looked out the window was too much,” he said. Rather than stand there weeping, Matt offered to take them shopping and watched as the littlest among them transformed from shy and timid to eager to tag along.
Hope and joy filled the dark parking lot as the family poured out of the car. After putting one of the children on his back, another grabbed the cart as Matt complimented him for being a hard worker. “We all walked in together, as a family, little ones in the cart, mom in front, and one on my back,” Matt recalled.
When one of the children asked for a toy, Matt couldn’t say no. He wanted to give them the world and solve all of their problems. He headed to the toy section before getting to the necessities. With one boy asking for cereal, forgetting that they were staying in their car, Matt realized the kids had forgotten their dire situation, at least for a brief moment. “I had forgotten my problems too. They had vanished in the presence of God,” Matt wrote.
As they gathered snacks, sandwich stuff, and other goodies, the boys kept getting closer to Matt, each wanting him to know they were helping, that they were good boys, and how thankful they were, he said. Admitting that the feeling was foreign to him, never having children of his own, Matt added, “Lord, if I can ever make you feel this way with one day of my life, please let me, Father.”
After one final stop in the candy aisle, Matt and his new assembly line of little helpers began checking out. Each one tried to out help the others in a beautiful game of who could serve the most. After bagging up their bounty and loading everyone back into their car, Matt was told they would be sleeping there. He dug in his wallet and discovered a miracle. Although he never carried cash, he had just enough to get them a hotel room.
“I gave them what I could and momma gave me the biggest hug ever. It was so good! All the little boys were saying thank you while happily munching on snacks and chips. It was so wonderful. It was so holy,” Matt recalled. After they drove off, the weight of their reality hit Matt. Overwhelmed by it all, he broke down, crying hard and praying even harder as he sat in his car.
Matt prayed that God would right all the wrongs in their lives, that he wouldn’t be the last man to tell those boys they are good, that their mom would find a man to love her like she should be loved, and that they’d be safe and taken care of. Then, as if he were receiving an answer to those prayers, Matt heard a honk, looked up, and saw the beautiful family, coming back around to wave and yell thank you one more time.
“I know it was God because I suddenly felt His peace and comfort, that they would be ok. That we would all be ok,” Matt wrote, sharing the encounter on Facebook as an encouragement to others. “If you’re reading this, it’s going to be ok. The pain you’re feeling, that place where you’ve been all alone crying in your car, hungry for love, ashamed and afraid, Jesus is coming for you,” Matt added.
“He will rescue you and He will provide for you. He will prove His love for you day after day, all you have to do is believe in Him. Don’t give up, don’t give in, don’t let the enemy tell you that God doesn’t care,” Matt continued. “He fights for you! He weeps over you every day and loves over you every night,” he wrote. “You are seen. You are needed. And God loves you!” Proving all of Matt’s emotional words true, God found a way for that family.
In a series of updates, Matt revealed that the mom contacted him later. With her permission, he started a GoFundMe campaign, hoping to raise “just enough to get this precious family off the streets” and into a hotel until they could get a house. In less than 2 weeks, over $3,000 was raised, and the family was moving into a new home.
Once living on faith and surviving in their car, this family found a home and a new beginning. Matt White gives all the glory to God, but it was Matt who decided to be a faithful servant, becoming an angel to this family in need. Burdened by his own troubles and in a hurry, he could have kept walking and ignored the child calling out to him. But, he didn’t — and now, a mother and her children are so much better off because of it.