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The Blue Tarp - Chris Estis

I wish I had a picture to capture this moment, but unfortunately, I do not. It all happened so quickly.

Yesterday I was coming home with a piece of furniture in the back of my truck. A dark cloud covered the Western sky, and I could tell it was about to storm. I quickly pulled over to see what could be done to protect the small desk I had purchased on a trading site to use in my son’s bedroom.

Preoccupied with my predicament, I had not even noticed the man sitting on the curb only a few yards away. Everything he owned was in the “borrowed” shopping cart beside him. As he approached, I became startled and prepared to tell him I didn’t have any money (which was not exactly the truth).

To my surprise he did not ask for money. “Do you need a tarp?” the man asked.

“Excuse me?” I replied.

“A tarp,” the man said. “Do you need a tarp to cover that up? I have one I will give you.”

I looked and buried beneath the pile of collected items was this man’s shelter, a blue tarp. “No, no thank you,” I politely said. “I will manage just fine. You keep the tarp. But thank you for being such a good neighbor.”

I learned something important yesterday about poverty because I was the one in need. I also learned what it means to be a good neighbor.

Chris Estis is the owner of Reborn Interiors, a custom home restoration company. He and Julie are parents of two children and reside in Mobile, Alabama.



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