See People, Share

In the Introduction to his blog, Dennis Cardiff wrote:

I have come to know many people, now friends, who for various reasons are, or were, homeless…

What has been seen cannot be unseen.”

...be the change you wish to see in the world... Dennis Cardiff

via Introduction to Gotta Find A Home

Dennis reminded me that I used to shut my eyes to people who begged on the streets. I made myself blind to them as I studied the traffic lights carefully, or deliberately engaged my traveling companions in focused conversations that distracted us from seeing them. I couldn’t bear to read their cardboard signs, look at their dirty old clothes that were inappropriate for the weather, or see humanity in their faces.

One day, I saw a woman standing on one of the street corners. Seeing a woman instead of a man was the drop of water that broke the levee in me. Nutrition bars had accumulated in the glove compartment of my car, so I gave them to her. I silently hoped that she would take them to whatever home she had, and share them with many, like the story in the Bible about Jesus feeding an entire crowd with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. Then, I kept my supply stocked up, and shared it every week.

Eventually, the same man was on the same corner for several weeks. I felt satisfied when I discovered which nutrition bars he preferred. The way his face lit up when he saw me made me feel great; he looked more human now than stone-faced, even though nearly everyone ignored him and overlooked the opportunity to respond directly to his needs.

When I stopped seeing him, I stopped giving out the bars.

Now, Dennis reminds me of when Joan Baez sang,

There, but for fortune, go you or I.”

I need to restock my car with nutrition bars.

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4 thoughts on “See People, Share

    1. Awwwww… Thanks dear Lisa. I especially appreciate your praise in light of the beautiful way that you use your words in your daily haikus, and the way that you match your poems with the images that you choose.

      I just discovered your About page and am impressed! by our similarity in values and priorities. I mention a similar table here, too, in my Cultural Freedom post https://weavergrace.com/2013/11/03/culture-freedom/

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Like

  1. That was really beautiful and thought-provoking. We’re told to overlook these individuals because they are probably “drug addicts” but so what? What if they are? No one wants to be in that position and certainly we have no idea what has happened to them to bring them to such a point.

    I like that you hand out nutrition bars. It’s thoughtful and healthy. And it was nice that you learned what kind of nutrition bars that man liked. You’ve definitely given me much to think about. Thank you!

    Unfortunately, The Terrible Head Cold is overtaking me, so I’ll have to stop by again tomorrow, but I’ve really been enjoying your blog so far. Can’t wait to see the rest!

    🙂

    Like

    1. Jessica, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are winning the battle with the Cold, and getting the rest and nourishment that you need for fighting it.

      You raise an important point here and elsewhere: no one wants to be diseased in one way or another (drug addiction is a disease), and we do not know how disease occurs (many ideas, but none conclusively proven).

      I look forward to more visits with you, here, at your blog, and elsewhere in the blogosphere.

      Liked by 1 person

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