I’ve been roaming around for the last week and a half, looking for an old soul who approached me at an intersection as he held a cardboard sign in his hand. His face was weathered and wind burned, though not yet vacant in expression. though he had lost everything, there was something still there. Perhaps in the way he raced between cars – eyes frantically searching for that single act of kindness somewhere within that sea of car windows.
Somehow, being inside – watching him lumber about in these staggeringly cold temperatures while I sat comfortably on a heated car seat – it all seemed so very wrong. Why was I here and he there? What set of circumstances must have unfolded to further alienate our condition?
As he approached my window, I handed him what little I had – a few dollars, at best. He thanked me, graciously – then hesitated. “You know,” he stammered looking down towards the ground. “It’s real cold out here, and I – I could really use a tent.”
A week and a half and several snowstorms later, here I am – spending hours driving side streets and known homeless encampments looking for any sign. I’m embarrassed to say, I don’t even know his name – but, what good are names in this aspect of a greater good?
We are all humans, after all. We laugh, we cry – we hope, we dream – we sometimes fail. We suffer horrendous heartache, brokenness and pain. Yet, still – the spark remains. Is this the connection that each of us seeks? And, when unfulfilled, leaving us painfully incomplete?
I realize to some my actions may seem a wasted effort. Though, how could this be when the heart is so fully engaged?
Until then, I’ll continue to drive aimlessly with an old duffel bag sitting on my back seat – filled with warm clothes, assorted sundries, food and a brand new single person tent. Will it help? I’m sure, but that’s not the only point to be made.
In fact, when we allow ourselves to help another, in time – we, ourselves, are made whole.
In peace, my sweet friends –