Friday, September 21, 2007

The Homeless

I was walking down Main Street yesterday on my way to a lunch date with friends. A homeless lady, sitting on a bench, called to me as I walked by, "Hey, Grandpa, do you have some money that you can spare"? First of all, she looked older than me so I'm not sure why she didn't call me "Sonny". I felt badly because I had no cash and only a few coins in my pocket. I gave her what I had and she was grateful. It bothered me that she might be hungry while I was on my way to a nice lunch with friends. I've always been told that you shouldn't give money to homeless people because they usually just are looking for that next drink. This lady didn't appear to be an alcoholic and street people, even the scary ones, always touch my heart and I usually share whatever money I have. My life is so blessed. I always have food, a warm bed, a roof over my head, and lots of friends. Plus, Jesus says, "Whatever you do for the least of my brethren, you do for me". When I encounter homeless people I actually wonder if I am truly encountering God. Is this person who is sometimes smelly and dirty really God crossing my path? God is not always appealing in appearance. He's not always dressed in pure white robes and glowing with divine light. God is present in any person who needs kindness, regardless of the package in which they are wrapped.

Tomorrow I get my new washing machine! I can barely contain my excitement. I can't wait to do the laundry! Chloe is coming over this weekend to help Granny get all her Halloween stuff out of the shed. We're doing it a little early because I will be at the monastery all next weekend for an annual retreat. Chloe's sense of awareness is so much greater than it was a year ago. She will be freaking out this holiday season. Think about it. One year for her represents 33% of her life. One year for me is 1.7% of my life. Her intellectual growth in the last year has been tremendous. Mine has probably declined. She has finally gotten past the diaper stage and now uses the big potty although she sits on a "Dora" seat. I thought for a while that both of us would be in diapers at the same time.

1 comment:

Littlefair said...

I enjoy reading your blogs. You're on the other side of the Atlantic but we seem to think about similar things!

I like to give food or occasionally a cuppa to homeless people (who invariably want a stack of sugar in it!). I started doing this in France when I saw a buddhist monk outside a bakery quietly holding out his hand.

I find homeless people are very grateful for a loaf of bread and some dog biscuits for their four legged companions!

A couple of homeless charity sites in the UK: