Anyone can help turn a life around – even if it’s as simple as giving them a book in the trunk of your car—which is exactly what Deputy Matt Holman did when he met Robert Morris back in February 2016.
Morris was in sorry shape at the time – he had been living in a tent in the woods after he had spiraled into addiction and alcoholism following the death of his mother, father, and sister. Though he has two surviving siblings, he had lost contact with them because of his condition.
When Holman saw Morris walking through the rain late one night, he shined his spotlight on the homeless man and asked if he was okay.
The two ended up walking together for a ways until they sat down in front of a nearby church in Greenville, South Carolina. Morris explained how floodwaters had washed his tent away and he had nowhere to go.
“We sat down and we had a long talk, and he was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life,” Morris said of the officer. When he was asked if he needed anything, he said, ‘Yeah, I need a Bible.’”
Holman explains that he usually carries around several of the Christian tomes in the trunk of his squad car, but on that night in particular, he only had one: his personal Bible that he filled with notes, bookmarks, scribbles, and highlighted passages.
“I didn’t want to necessarily give it up, but I kind of felt like God was telling me, ‘He needs this more than you do,’” Deputy Holman said. Although he was really attached to that bible, he relinquished it.
Holman then went to buy a hot plate of food for Morris before parting ways. It was not, however, the last time that the officer would hear from him.
Six months later, Morris called 911 – not because he had an an emergency, but because he wanted to thank Holman and he had no other way of reaching the deputy.
He left a recorded message at the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office crediting Holman for saving his life.
After their encounter, Morris became inspired to check into an institution, recover from his addiction, and reconnect with his siblings – all because of the deputy’s kindness.