Homeless Encounter

I mentioned last week that my younger son helped me pack several bags for the homeless.  Sunday, after church, I found my first opportunity to step out of my comfort zone.  I had my window rolled down and the two women sitting on the curb waved and said “God bless you”.  I smiled and waved before pulling into traffic.

I made the first right turn I could and parked nearby.  The women stared at me as I approached them carrying two of the bags.  I explained how my son helped me pack them and wanted to give them away.  They were excited about the plush throws because a cold front is coming in by the end of the week.

I talked to Lynn for a little bit and asked what kinds of things she needed.  She told me they needed a tent because someone stole their travel trailer.  I wished them well and drove home.  As I put my groceries away in my comfortably heated home I wondered why I didn’t offer to buy a tent.  I sat down and prayed and waited.

Then I drove back to the store.  I felt a little awkward as I approached and said, “I think I’m supposed to buy you a tent.  Would you like to show me which tent you were looking at?”  Her husband, Dwayne, stammered a bit and seemed reluctant, but then asked Lynn if she wanted to go.

While in the store, I picked up a few other things for her.  While in the check out line she said she hadn’t been able to wash her hair for a month.  It did look a bit… worn.  On the way out, I told her I thought we should get her hair washed and styled.  She was so excited.

12-11-lynn
Smiling is a side effect of clean hair…

It was hard to see someone so excited about getting her hair washed.  I do that at least several times a week without giving a second thought.  As we waited for a stylist, we talked.  She has had a difficult life and some poor choices.  Not unlike me, except by God’s grace, I have not been homeless.  I suspect some of her choices may have involved drugs, but I didn’t ask.  Again, by God’s grace, I haven’t been plagued by addiction.

I took a picture of Lynn, us together, and her with her husband.  I gave her my phone number and told her to let me know when she got a phone and I would send her the pictures.  Her husband starts a new job on Thursday and I’m praying that things start looking up for them.

I have four more bags put together right now and I pray that God keeps my eyes and heart open.   I’m excited to see how the next encounter changes me.

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Author: findingmedaily43

I used to enjoy hiking and snapping pictures along the way. I used to have creative ideas jotted on pieces of paper stacked on my desk. I used to laugh and look forward to spending time with others. I used to write. A lot. Through this blog, I'm making an effort each day to find myself.

10 thoughts on “Homeless Encounter”

  1. You know, it’s relatively easy to drop some change in a collection kettle … or to donate sacks of clothing to a charity. You, however, have taken “love” to a whole new level! Actually interacting with those in need — even just a few at a time — must be so gratifying, to you and to them. I suspect God has big blessings in store for you! We never know how something we do might touch another … and another … and ripple on!

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    1. It was an amazing experience, Debbie. I’m still looking for others I could help, but I’ve been a little distracted helping to wrap gifts for a charity that distributes them to kids in need. (This 5th grader my son gites to school with has done this for several years but I never got involved). I don’t know what God has in store but I’m finally ready to find out 😉

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  2. Bravo! I attend an AA home group where there are always a few people from the local homeless shelter (and one or two who opt out of the shelter and live on the streets)… Among the (many) blessings they’ve given me are their STORIES. There’s always a story behind a sign, if we just stop and ask… 🙂

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    1. She told me some of her story and it was interesting for me because I’ve never asked before. I did find it interesting that she chose here over going to her son in Oregon because she didn’t like the weather there. There’s freedom in not having much. Thanks for visiting, Kana

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  3. Well, I have never asked anyone their story but we have given out $5 to $10 gift cards to McDonalds and other fast food places. One older man wouldn’t take a McDonalds card because he said he doesn’t eat “that garbage”. Another time we ran out of cards so we gave someone money and watched him buy drugs from another homeless person. Your idea is a lot better, giving packages directly to those in need rather than to the Salvation Army or other organization.

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    1. That’s interesting they turned down the gift card. McDonald’s isn’t my favorite but they do have salads and a few healthier items. That’s my concern with the money… I want to help the person not feed a habit. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience, Emilio.

      Liked by 1 person

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