The Stoic Squirms………..

I was yelled at by a homeless man this morning.  Full throttle anger, and I can’t say that I blame him.  I carry water, protein bars and devotionals in my Jeep at all times.  But for the grace of God go I, and for as long as I can remember, they have held a place in my heart;  their plight makes me anxious, unhinged….barely able to breath through my sorrow.

After shopping at Giant, I noticed a man sitting on a bench, next to a gym.  My golden retriever looked at me as if to say:  DO SOMETHING.  I pulled into the parking lot, grabbed the goods and proceeded towards the man, approaching him with caution.

“Hey bud, uh, how are you doing today?  I brought you a snack and………………..” he cut me off before I could finish my sentence.

“But you SHOULDN”T HAVE.  I like to sit here and do my crossword puzzle.  I already had a snack and I am FINE.  It’s time to move on…….”

The alcohol coming from his breath, his dirty, wretched clothing, his body odor….all clear signs of need.   I have a strong background in social services, and I know the schizophrenia rate is very high among the homeless population.  I wanted to say something, anything to comfort him-give him a respite from day to day abominations.

He then did something I didn’t expect.  He touched my arm and whispered, “You’re a nice lady.”  And so I left him, but not with his dignity in tact.  We must ensure they are respected, cared for, prayed for and loved-without hurting their pride, or injuring their souls.  Will I give up on my ministry?  No.  Will I think twice before offering a drink and devotional to the least of these?  Yes.  But I will pray for God’s guidance and will, in hopes that I bring momentary love to a life so clearly bereft of compassion.

2 thoughts on “The Stoic Squirms………..

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