A Bum You Can Trust -- Really!
Reunion with AmEx angel

August 13, 2010

This is a wonderful story involving a woman who seems to not be born again as Christ is never mentioned as her motivation to do so.  Here she gives a card to a homeless man that has no limit. He could have bought a car with it if he had so desired. It would seem that this homeless man has also not come to the feet of Jesus Christ yet he acted very honorable, as he only bought a few personal items costing about $25 dollars and then returned to the restaurant where he met the woman to return her credit card. 

It rends my heart to think that few believers that I have ever known have actually given money to the homeless or to any who have asked for money. 

In Christ’s words below He seeks a people that can willingly from their heart allow themselves to be despoiled, even as Jesus Christ and the Father give to those that ask of Them and allow these people to despoil Them.

Matthew 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Luke 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

A Manhattan homeless man had an emotional reunion yesterday with the kindhearted ad executive who lent him her American Express Platinum Card outside a SoHo restaurant, in what became a shining act of generosity, trust and honesty.

"I didn't have to thank him. I trusted him all along," said Merrie Harris, 45, as she hugged Jay Valentine, 32, outside La Esquina on Kenmare Street.

Harris lent her card to Valentine there Monday after he asked her for change. Most people who witnessed the act of extreme generosity doubted he would ever come back. But a short time later, he returned with the card, stunning many and earning Valentine the title of Most Honest Homeless Man in the City.

"What he did was no surprise to me," Harris said yesterday. "People keep telling me, 'Why would you talk to him and trust him?' But are we only supposed to trust people we know? What would Bernie Madoff's friends be saying?"
Valentine told The Post that he was surprised to be handed the card, but he never thought to take advantage of Harris' generosity.

"I wasn't tempted at all," said the 32-year-old Brooklyn native. "She trusted me, and I didn't want to violate that trust. I would never do that."

Valentine said he has been homeless for a few years, since he lost his job at a real-estate company that had allowed him to sleep in the office. He said he now spends his nights in an Internet cafe whose staff allows him to sleep on their chairs. He said he was hungry and low on cash on Monday when he saw Harris standing with friends outside the restaurant.
"I asked her for change and told her I wasn't working," he said.

"She said she only had a card. She said, 'Can I trust you?' I said, 'I'm honest, yes.'

"I went and bought a few things and came back and gave her her credit card back, and everybody was surprised.
"I said thanks for trusting me. I guess she had a good sense of judgment. She knew I was trustworthy."
Valentine said he bought deodorant, body wash, a pack of Nat Sherman cigarettes and Vitaminwater. It all cost about $25, he said.

"She was really lucky it was me she ran into" and not someone who would have stolen the card, Valentine said. "I was really in need. I only had a couple of dollars on me."

"It sets a good example that people in need -- like I am or worse -- can and should be trusted," he said. "Everybody in the restaurant was surprised. They probably thought I would run off with the card."

Comments by Readers
08/13/2010 8:47 PM
You know it is funny how people are saying feed people in other countries. It's funny, take a look around your area, there are many people who are in need here in our own "backyard"! This man Valentine shows that there are honest people still in the world. Does it really matter what he chose to buy? Really?! Come on! The woman showed eveyone that you should try to extend a hand of kindness, you never know when it could be returned. If you had a chance to buy something to wash yourself with, wouldn't you get something nice when you're not use to this. For people knocking on this homeless man Valentine, how do you know what happened to him or how he got to where he is? You can't tell what a person has been through just by looking at them. I know from personal experience. I applaude this woman for her caring, and warm hearted act. I would have done the same thing. I hope the world takes a lesson from this. I agree....Pay it forward!!!!!!

Ronnie Bishop
08/13/2010 8:46 PM
Hey Colorado, my hats off to ya it's not like buying someone a meal is gonna put a real bad hurting on any of us!! However, I will say this I'll be willing to bet anything that that man would not have done that for you! We all need to be understanding about others!

08/13/2010 8:40 PM
First off all, Mr. Valentine is NOT a BUM. So that needs to be taken off. Remember he is still one of God's. Mr. Valentine did have a job before he became homeless. I am thankful for what Mrs. Harris has done. God has many blessings for you. We must remember that God can turn things around in your life where you won't have anything. So we must watch how we talk about Mr. Valentine or anybody, because God can turn things around in your life where you won't have a penny. Remember God isn't sleep. My heart and prayers goes out to Mr. Valentine and to all the homeless.