On the streets of my previous job, there was a man who lived on the sidewalk. He sat there inside of what looked like a fort made of cardboard. He had a large white paint bucket, a stroller covered in a black garbage bag and a blue and white cooler. He sat right in front of the entrance to my job so I saw him every single day. He looked like he made the best of his situation and pretty much made that piece of sidewalk his home.
One day, it was raining and he was standing under the small awning of my building. Every day he wore a green flight jacket and it looked like he wore lots of layers underneath. When I passed him, we spoke for a little and I ran upstairs to my office. To me, he was a fully concious regular old man. Deep down, I wanted to know more about this man so I decided to make time to talk to him or at least buy him breakfast and make small talk. (Not everyone is willing to tell you their life’s story. Always take it step by step.)
Another morning, I went to Duncan Donuts and bought him a bagel with cream cheese and a medium coffee with milk and sugar. That day it snowed and, as usual, he was taking cover under the awning of my building. He cheerfully said,
“The snow isn’t bad at all, see! It slides right off my jacket.” I laughed and said
“You know, you’re right, it’s not even that cold outside.”
It’s like we both agreed that the day was beautiful and not as bad as people made it seem.
I gave him his breakfast and he was so greatful for it. Deep down I didn’t feel like I did anything special. I just felt like I did what I was supposed to do. This man was hungry and like any other hungry person that would cross my path, I’d get em’ food. It’s just common courtesy. I wanted to do something that would make a small difference in this mans life but I wasn’t sure.
My friend Joanna told me that Henry likes black coffee, no milk or sugar. “GOOD!” I thought, “He should get what he prefers. Nothing less. ”
One afternoon, I was eating lunch and I didn’t finish it. My coworker urged me to give Henry my leftovers. I was extremely offended but I couldn’t show it. It wasn’t fair to my coworker who didn’t know any better. I thought to myself, “I would never serve my husband or children my left over food IF I myself had a fresh HOT meal in my belly.”
Henry taught me a lot. He taught me how to be greatful through all circumstances, how to be grateful for everything given to me and how to be specific in my petitions.
The next morning, I went to Duncan Donuts again and got him his perfered black coffee and a bagel. Before I handed it to him, Henry said,
” I like black coffee.” I told him,
“Yup! I’m ahead of the game!”
Another coworker heard us talking and said “uhhh. He should take whatever is given to him. He shouldn’t be asking for anything specific! It’s free!”
Why? Why can’t he ask for black coffee? Is it because he’s homeless. Because you think he is beneath you?!
Henry, thank you for unknowingly stealing my heart. You have allowed me to discover my purpose. You’ve allowed me to open up my eyes to the true perspective of this world towards humanity. I pray that healing pours through your body and that God removes any sicknessess that disturbs you. Your heart is a lot more cleaner than some people on this earth full of riches. Don’t be discouraged.
I’m not blogging about this to glorify anything that I’ve done in fact, I’m quite ashamed that I didn’t do more for him. Although, society seems more cruel than loving, I can say that I saw a lot of people take time out of their busy day to help this man. People stopped to give him cash, shoes, food, umbrellas and most importantly, hope.
I know this entry is all over the place but my expierence with Henry is too lengthy to write. And I’m sleepy.
Just remember scripture,
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Treat your neighbor as yourself and bring a little hope to the next discouraged soul that you bump into.