Day 6: To the man on the corner with the sign…

To the man on the corner with the sign…
I see you standing there. Sad eyes. Ripped shirt. Scruffy beard. Sun battered skin. Your cardboard sign says, “Homeless. Anything helps. God bless.”  I have to be honest with you … I never know what to do when I see you. My heart wants to give you every dime in my wallet. I’d like to ask you how I can help beyond a five dollar bill.
I wonder how you got here. When you were young, learning how to walk and talk, were you loved? Were you cuddled? Did you have food and clothing? Did someone cheer you on through life? Help you with your homework? I truly have no idea or even a guess what your toddler, adolescent, and young adult life was like. But, I do know that at some point, something happened. It may have been sudden or slow. Shocking or inevitable.  Of your own doing or at another’s hand.
No matter what got you here and whose fault it is, I want you to know I see you. I believe you to be a man made in the image of your Creator. And while I have no idea how to help you beyond the few bills in my purse, I am praying. Not token prayers, but healing ones…
As I wait for the light to turn, I look at my sweater and skirt. My Apple watch. My debit card. My teacher lanyard. The hot coffee in the cup holder. My Toms backpack on the back seat with laptop, teacher’s textbook, and a Happy Planner. My newer Prius. My lunch.
And I am overwhelmed.  For all the hard that life brings. For all the poor decisions I’ve made and those that have been made for me. I don’t get why I am here and you are there…on the corner. It’s a disparity that fills me with gratitude and conviction. As I avert my eyes from you, sipping my hot coffee, God calls to mind a verse… From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. It’s actually the second half of a verse in Luke 12. And in that moment, I know that I am the “whom.” So I am asking myself, “what is the much God is demanding of me today?”
I don’t pretend to understand why I drive to my secure teaching job each day while you stand on the corner with a cardboard sign. I am certainly no better or no more loved by God than you. We could debate choices and opportunities and addictions and blah and blah all day long. But none of that back and forth will help you or the thousands of others who are struggling. All that really helps is me deciding to stop being so dang comfortable- to start being His hands and feet.
May we all extend our hands and feet for another today.
day 6 of 31

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