Faith, Hope, and Charity

by Jake Barnes

I see the fat black lady everywhere. She wears three or four tattered sweaters on cool days. She pushes a basket borrowed from a grocery store. There is a plastic lawn bag in the basket with God knows what inside. Once I sat next to her at a local sandwich shop. I was with some friends. I knew about the store's policy, which is that if you have no money, you eat free. I was with a bunch of jokers, and she seemed to be eavesdropping on our conversation. She would chuckle from time to time. Sometime I see her on a bench in front of a grocery store. Once as I was a going into the store, I took a twenty dollar bill out of my wallet and offered it to her. She looked at me and smiled. “No, thank you, I'm fine,” she said, “The Lord provides for me. I have all that I need.”