We Are Their Hope

We live as though blind

when we come upon your sight;

so much easier

not to see your plight.


You sit here daily

with eyes downcast.

We scurry by quickly

pushing you into the past.


Where is your family?

Why are you alone?

How can I help?

You look chilled to the bone.


This could be me

in the blink of an eye.

It matters not your story,

no reason to ask why.


Let’s just do what we can

for those in great need.

Please don’t turn away

or watch as they bleed.


The holidays fast approach,

a particularly tough time.

No delays, no back burner;

now is the time.

© LuAnn Oburn 2012

For A Reason

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.

Earlier that day I had received an email from a friend, one that has been passed around time and again about the reason people come into our lives, some for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  His was for a reason, although I am not yet sure why.  I am just thankful for the chance meeting.

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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