Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Man On The Street Corner

This will most likely be lots of rambling...I'm not the best at being direct/getting to the point. Sara, says I'm's true! But I have so many thoughts right now...stemming from the homeless man I saw this afternoon on the street corner..and I have to get them out.

It's cold outside...VERY cold. The weather channel says that it feels like 17 degrees right now. Despite the bitter chill in the air...and the THICK layer of ice I had to scrape off my windshield...I still ran an errand this afternoon.

But the cold isn't so bad when you blast the heat in your helps too. I saw many drivers holding Starbucks cups. Thank goodness for cars, coffee and heat.

I sat in the left hand turn lane...headed home....and I saw him. He was across the the other side of the intersection. I've seen him once or twice before, I think. He seems to hang out on this particular street corner a lot. He looks to be in his 50's...maybe older. He just stands, very still...holding a sign that says that he is homeless.

He doesn't get pushy...he never even directly looks at anyone...he doesn't go up to the cars and stare at the drivers, as I have seen others do in the past....He just looks straight ahead...holding his sign.

Seeing him today though, made me teary-eyed. It is just so cold outside. He had an old, worn baseball cap on...but that was definitely not enough to keep his head warm. He had nothing covering his ears. His coat was not very heavy. Thank goodness he did have some gloves on.

I couldn't stop watching him out of the corner of my eye. So badly I wanted to drive over to him..tell him to get in my car...take him to my house and give him a nice hot meal....but since this world is a scary place....since I have young children in my home...and since I don't know anything about him...I didn't.....I wouldn't....but oh how I wanted to.

Maybe he really is the sweetest man...maybe he served our country once....maybe he wouldn't hurt a fly...but of course...there is no way to know that.

I did wipe a tear from my eye...when I realized that I really couldn't help him. I did watch one lady roll down her window and hand him some cash. That was nice. If I had had a cup of coffee with me...I would have given it to him.

I know that many people say that the people who hang out on the street corners with their signs...are just trying to get some easy money...just trying to hit up a bar for a drink...or get some cigarettes. But, I don't know how much I believe that....not sure if that is true in all circumstances...BUT I do feel that anyone who is out there in THIS WEATHER...really has no other choice.

As I finished driving to my WARM home...I couldn't shake his image out of my head. Funny thing is, this morning when I woke up in my comfy bed.....ate breakfast....and played with my children in various rooms in our house...I never once thought about anybody else...about any homeless people dealing with the cold weather....never even crossed my mind.

I know I have a compassionate heart...I know I have helped people....I know that there are causes that I care about....but it seems like I do it in spurts....I'll really rally behind something for a bit...but then I get caught up in my day to day.....and I find that some time goes by....before I REALLY help another person (outside of my family).

But then I see this man on the street corner....and it hits me. Why is it that we have TO SEE IT before our hearts break?

How different would it be...if all street corners were lined with young children from Northern Uganda with signs asking for help....or if street corners were lined with abused children....or children looking for someone to adopt them....or homeless families.

Is that what we need before we take action?

If you woke up tomorrow morning...and a mother from Africa was in your front yard with her babies.....would you help her then?

Just something to think about.

I prayed for the man on the street corner. I prayed that he would have somewhere warm to sleep tonight. And I'll continue to pray for him.


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