I just got off work today. Was complaining to myself about how tired I was and all I wanted to do was go home and lay on the couch, but needed to stop and get gas and pick up a few things at the store.
I got my gas and turned the corner to drive into the parking lot of the store and on the corner was our friend from the park. This is his corner and can be found there almost everyday. He flies a sign, but instead of taking money he prefers to work for what he gets. An older gentleman, his eyesight fading, but he has the gentlest soul about him. As I passed I waved and when he didn’t respond I remembered he couldn’t see that far and would have not know that I waved at him.
As I got out of my truck and headed into the store, he was also making his way in as well. I called out his name and caught up with him. As we walked in the store together I asked how he was doing and as usual he tells me fine, but I can see in his face that all is not well.
“So tell me what is wrong my fiend “ I said to him.
He tells me that it has been 41 months and as not had a problem until now. I didn’t understand the 41 months part and asked him to explain. He has been camping out for 41 months along the river and yesterday the police found his camp. They came thru his camp and dumped everything in the river. Everything this man owned was tossed out like trash.
I was stunned to hear this and even more stunned that this man will have to endure the cold weather with nothing to protect him from the elements. I asked what I could do for him. He said he can get a sleeping bag, but could use a new tent. I told him I would see what I could do.
He said he was grateful for the help, but told me that he was not worried and then went on to tell me that he was not upset about it. He said, “look I still have my health, I can still see somewhat, I have good friends who care about me and I have the good Lord looking after me, what more do I need. God will provide what I need.”
I looked at this man who stood before me with nothing and I mean nothing and he still was in a good mood and was smiling. Ten minutes before I was complaining to myself about being tired and wanting to go home to my warm house.
My friend stands in the bitter cold looking for someone to offer him work and he will probably spend all day outside just to receive a few bucks to make through to the next day. After spending his day doing this he then will spend the rest of his evening camped along the river trying to survive the night, just to get up and do it all over again. The next time you complain about having to get up and go to work or having to take care of the house you live in, remember our friend and remember how truly blessed you are.
By the way…if you have a tent we can give him, let me know.