Writing What I Live and See … this post is for anyone who prays to see with eyes of kindness.
Seeing with the Heart
In the curve of the road, she waited, her hair dangling, her clothes cleaner than one might think, for a homeless person. Pulling to the side, parking, I moved from my car. “Hi, what are you up to?”
She held her dog on a leash, grinning at me. “Just walking. Look, I left a dress for her.”
Petting her pup, I asked, “For her? Where?”
“Over there.” She pointed at the field next to us. “I met her the other day. She’s tall and has a lot of jewelry on her ears. I had this dress someone gave me, but it’s for a tall person.”
“Yes, I hung the dress on the gate in case she comes by. I’m not sure where she’s staying.”
I glanced at the fence. “That was nice of you.”
“She’s new. She may be staying at Randy Sams. I’m not sure.”
After visiting for a bit, I hopped into my car, thankful for my friend whose heart is filled with “thinking of others” and with … kindness.
Seeing only Bad Habits
Later that day, I had another conversation with someone who’s not fond of the homeless community.
He offered his take doing his best to validate his stance. “You know how they are. They stand on the street corner, holding signs, and have you noticed?”
I responded, “Noticed, what?”
“They ask for food. They linger. They pick up cigarettes butts.”
“But what did you mean by, have you noticed?”
He ignored my quizzing. “And they’re dirty. Many are drug addicts. And they’re drunks. They take advantage of others.”
“But, have I noticed what?’”
He touched the fabric on his jeans. “Have you noticed how many of them are wearing new shoes? And their pants are nicer than mine?”
Pausing, I smiled. “You know, I have a lot of friends on the street, and it’s a good chance … that maybe, I’ve given a few of them a pair of new pants. Or even new shoes!”
My friend picked up speed. “You shouldn’t give them things. They could shoot you. Or stab you. A needle might jab you.”
“But, I’m compelled to love them, to remind them of hope in Christ.”
“Why would you give them anything?”
“Because, they’re my friends. When friends are in need, don’t we care about them?”
“I suppose. I don’t know.”
Sheep who Stray Who Need Christ
“We’re all like sheep that have gone astray, and Christ is our Shepherd. I hope to remind others of His love, so they can find joy in Him.”
He shook his head. “I just don’t get you. You know that?”
I nodded. “I know. No need to worry though, we’re still friends.” I slapped his arm. “So, shall I buy you a new pair of jeans? Would that help?”
He laughed, “Very funny.”
I giggled. “Or do you need some new shoes?”
So as you see, I had two conversations with two very different people. One gazed with her heart and wanted to love on a fellow homeless friend. While the other, glanced at habits in people’s lives.
For me, when I witness what Christ does in a heart, and know what He did in my own, then I find myself compelled to see the one on the street corner with new eyes!
And in some cases, I need help not judging some of my friends who don’t get me. For we’re all sheep in need of a Shepherd. Sheep who need discipline, love, and redemption!