People come into our life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. ~ Unknown
He came bundled in a heavy Carhartt coat, although the weather didn’t call for this. His was a comfortable face, one would say even attractive, although weathered by time and circumstance, I’m sure. The eyes are what I was drawn to, warm and forgiving, I thought. When he told me a little of his story, the eyes belied his life. His was the face of the homeless.
I have volunteered feeding the homeless, but other than a “hello, how are you, enjoy your meal” I never took the time or had the opportunity to learn about the person I was feeding. Most times those being given what may have amounted to their only meal of the day were appreciative but there was an emptiness to them, a hollowness where life on the streets had stripped them of their marrow. The gentleman who walked into the laundry room this day did not exude these tremulous feelings. Eye contact was made; greetings were passed; and I soon began to learn his story.
He was very deliberate about the telling, very matter-of-fact, no anger, no sadness, just a story to tell it seemed. He had an audience in me, as we were the only souls inhabiting this space and it was laundry day for him. Truth is I wanted his story; I needed to know his story.
It’s cold in the wintertime, and the handouts are few. Is the whole world so blind to the plight of the few? It could be your neighbour, who should be your friend. In the heart of the homeless the heartaches don’t end. ~ Farrell and Farrell
Having been on the streets since 1996 he seemed aware of current events in the area and worked from time to time, when he could find it. When work was not to be found, he took to the bottle. He knew this was his weakness and was honest about that. Today seemed to be a slow day for work based on the pungent smell wafting off of him.
I asked where he slept and if he was warm enough. He said he was fine and that there were others much more in need than he. The loss of a job some years back started this downward spiral and he knew no job now could get him to a place where he could afford rent. His car went the way of his job when it refused to start one day. A simple story but one that could be told by millions of people today balancing on the precipice.
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Don’t laugh at me; don’t call me names. Don’t get your pleasure from my pain. In God’s eyes we’re all the same. Someday we’ll all have perfect wings. Don’t laugh at me. Don’t laugh at me. ~ Mark Wills