I’ve crossed paths with this man more than once. This man who labels himself HOMELESS VETERAN on cardboard. On a street corner. In wealthy suburbs.
I saw him 10 minutes south at the top of an exit last spring and summer. Week after week, he’d be at the same spot. I saw him in passing from one therapy visit to the next, always running short on time. Only once did I have something to give him. I found it curious that he always stood at the same place, and I always saw him at the same time. Every week.
Months passed without seeing this gentleman, but just three weeks ago I saw him north 10 minutes at the top of another exit.
Gathered around the table, I talked about this man. How curious it is that I continue to see him, how long it has been.
Last week I found him again in this northern suburb, now in the heart of the city just two blocks from a mom with a fur coat and daughter with a fur vest crossing the street into a mall. My car approached him at a corner. This time I had something. Gave him a bottle of water and a bag of Doritos out the window. They were the only tangible things I had to give.
Thought a bit.
Drove around, watched him at the stoplight.
Headed for Arby’s to buy a sandwich, then realized I might be able to provide something more lasting than Arby’s for this man that has been on the streets, HOMELESS VETERAN sign in hand for months.
Scratched down the name of my church, names of the pastors, the street name, service times. All praying he might discover something greater, some help, some hope.
In a matter of seconds as I passed in my car, I handed him this scratched on piece of paper, he looked down and seemed to read each word as important. I uttered “I have seen you many times,” asked if he would like prayer from my blog readers, if I could take his picture.
“YES,” he said.
Join me? Take an opportunity to pray for a man in need? A veteran in need? And pray that next time I respond the way God would have me?
I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. Psalm 140:12
This post was written as part of the Five Minute Friday link up. I spend the last hour of Thursday chatting with a group of authentic and inspiring Five Minute Friday bloggers on Twitter (#FiveMinuteFriday #fmfparty). One minute past midnight EST Friday, Lisa-Jo Baker gives us a single word prompt and we all write a blog post centered around that word. We write for five minutes, and five minutes only. In the words of Lisa, this is “unscripted. unedited. real.” You meet me at this moment in time…my thoughts and opinions, my joys and sorrows, my dilemmas and dreams. And I receive one of the greatest gifts ever…a regular outlet for processing and expressing my thoughts without constantly editing myself. This is my life, my perspective, unfiltered.
The word of the week is OPPORTUNITY.