Can I ask you a question? Will you yell at me?

I don’t know what to say today…

I just don’t know how to get my thoughts straight or communicate…

Yesterday evening was a decent enough night. It was. It wasn’t so bad…

And all I was doing was sitting on the steps of a church downtown Indy. Roger was inside preaching about social justice and radical notions that perhaps Jesus really does want us to love other people. I couldn’t listen. Not only because London was restless and wanted to be outside, but because I was scared they’d throw him out on his ear.

So there we were. People kept walking up. They were all homeless. One man wanted to go inside and talk to the pastor but I explained to him that the pastor wasn’t there—that my husband was preaching as a fill in. He stood with me for a while and he told me his story. He wanted some money. I realize that people frown on others handing out money to homeless people. I don’t care. He even told me it would be specifically for cigarettes for his girlfriend. I still didn’t care. I snuck inside and got the five bucks I had left from dinner and gave it to him. It’s all the cash I had…

Later, another older man came walking by. He didn’t look well. Maybe it was drugs, maybe it wasn’t. But he looked unwell enough that I was a little startled when he held out his bag and asked if there was anything inside I could use. I didn’t want to get close enough to see what all was in there. I realized he wanted to sell something to me and I didn’t have any cash. I saw suckers, but that was all. I explained that I didn’t really need anything.

“Well, can I ask you something, Miss?” His tongue looked swollen and I wished I had water to give him. I smiled and said he could. “You won’t get mad at me? You yell at me?”

“No, I won’t yell at you.”

“Do you have three dollars you can spare?”

And I didn’t. I gave it all away to the last man.

But that’s not what wrecked my heart. I suddenly realized how lonely and sad this man’s life was. It wasn’t only because he looked physically ill and lived on the streets, but also because so many had mistreated him as he tried to make enough cash to feed himself.

I know there is help and people feeding and housing the homeless.

I know that. I get it.

But there are also people out there that do not have the time and compassion to love those that are not exactly where they are…

There were people that yelled and that man and got angry.

And that’s not okay.

Perhaps that’s why I’m still hurting today?

Part of the reason, anyway…


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