It’s so interesting how human existence can connect in some unexpected ways. Johnny Cavazos experienced a connection that he never would have thought of when he set out one night to check on some properties his family owns. Johnny was driving a truck that belonged to his later father, who had passed away in 2015 and the vehicle meant a lot to him because his dad had left some personal items behind in the truck.
One of the properties, he found, was in need of cleanup, so he began putting the debris in the truck bed. That’s when he saw a man approaching him, walking with a limp and looking a bit worse for the wear. He offered to help Johnny with the task and told him he was homeless and hungry and had been sleeping in a church nearby, behind a statue of Mary, because he felt safe there.
The man had taken on some work, but wasn’t paid nor given food or water by the man who hired him. Johnny was happy to help this man, offering to take him to a nearby fast food restaurant for a meal.
While the homeless man initially didn’t want to go, showing Johnny that he only had a rosary and sixteen cents in his pockets, Johnny offered to buy the man a meal. Before unwrapping his food, the homeless man prayed and then offered half of his burger to Johnny.
Johnny talked with the man as they drove and the stranger noted that it was a nice truck he was driving. Johnny explained that it belonged to his dad and showed him a funeral card with his dad’s photo on it.
The homeless man studied the picture, even borrowing Johnny’s glasses to see it better, and became emotional as he recognized the man, Juan Cavazos Sr. and his wife Araceli. The couple had run the local pharmacy and the homeless man explained that, when he lived in Mexico, his daughter was dying and in need of medicine that was very expensive.
The man would travel across the border to the pharmacy, where the Cavazos helped him in any way they could, something he was extremely grateful for. The man and his wife had hoped to pay the couple back for their kindness and he was now emotional that he would never be able to repay the favor.
Johnny told him that his help with cleaning the property that his father owned without asking for anything in return was repayment enough, as he noted in a Facebook post about the encounter: “I explained to him that if my father were still alive he would not accept payment for what he did for him because my father and mother both are of the belief that when you TRULY, truly give… you are not to expect anything in return. And besides, I told him, as far as I’m concerned… you have already paid… tonight you helped me pick up someone else’s trash off of my father and mother’s property.”