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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

However we Should Remember that Homelessness is a Condition of the Society we Live in.

A few days ago, as I waited at an intersection, I watched a homeless young man rest his tattered back pack against the traffic light pole to prepare for his day of pleading. He took a sip from a water bottle and picked up his sign turning it hesitantly toward the oncoming cars.
Homeless, Hungry and Can't go Home.
I watched as vehicles moved passed him but not a single person opened their window to make an offering let alone glance his way. Did they think that not looking at  him would mean he wasn't there?
I cannot judge them for not stopping  because each of us has to be comfortable with the choices we make.
However we should remember that homelessness is a condition of the society we live in. 
How often do you hear people say,
"They should get a job. They're addicts, they'll just buy drugs. He's probably a bad kid and his parents sent him packing."
But maybe they were abused or they are mentally ill. Maybe they didn't have good parents who loved and cherished them, maybe, maybe maybe.....

In the span of thirty seconds a hundred thoughts ran through my mind,
Where are his parents? Are they worried about him?
Why isn't he in a shelter?
How old can he be?
How long has he been alone?
And with thoughts of the many blessings in my life and in the fervent belief that someone would extend the same kindness to one of my own children if needed,
I reached into my wallet, rolled down my window and watched as he walked toward me.
His smile caught me off guard.
He accepted my offering, surprised by the amount,
"You're amazing. Thank you."
"Get yourself something to eat and take care of yourself."

 I rolled up my window and glanced at him as I drove away. He joined his hands together in a gesture of prayer and smiled at me.

Where was his haven? The place to come home to at the end of each day to be greeted by people who love him.
I think that homelessness is not only to lack this place of refuge it is more the absence of not belonging.

In the moment of giving you find deep comfort in knowing that you have helped a fellow human being and that is truly breathtaking.