A Man Without A Home

***Jenni Clayville posted this on her site two days ago but I wanted to make sure I shared it here, too.*** I felt someone come up behind me as I was unloading my basket full of groceries onto the conveyor belt.  I eventually turned around only to lay eyes on a taller man with a disheveled appearance.  The clothes he was wearing were filthy, stained and in poor condition.  His aroma was equally disturbing.  But he smiled, nonetheless.  And appeared to be a relatively happy soul. At that time, I realized he was the manThe man who rides his bike throughout the town where I live.  The man who can often be found wearing three layers of clothing on a hot, July day in Oklahoma.  The man who is often snoozing underneath a Bradford Pear tree to shield himself from the precipitous elements. “I hate the rain,” he said smiling.  I couldn’t help but notice that his teeth were in awful condition.  I imagine due to the fact that he probably doesn’t brush his teeth everyday or go see his dentist twice a year like I do.  Like my entire family does. I smiled back at him, eyeballing my purse as I did.  It was loaded with my grocery cash and newly replenished Dave Ramsey allowance.  I didn’t want to lose it for it might mean I would lose the money I was about to use to go by a new pair of jeans.  And he’s clearly the sort to steal money. Or so I thought. Once I finished and moved down, the space allowed him to place his items down that he was about to purchase.  He put a pair of jeans, a watch, a 12-pack of AA batteries and a 16-oz. bottle of Grape Crush down.  Then he did something I wasn’t prepared for.  He whipped out a wad of cash from his pocket and began to thumb through the bills as he knew his time to render his goods was upon him. What in the world, I found myself thinking.  I mean, here is a man who doesn’t appear to have a home, appears to be in need yet he appears to have plenty of money to take care of his needs and even some wants.  Because y’all, he didn’t need that watch because he was already wearing one. The scene was oxymoronic at best.  I was speechless, almost without the ability to glean an intelligent thought about what I was experiencing. Before the wad of cash was thumbing through his fingers, I was close to giving him some of my currency.  My hard-earned, well-deserved money.  But now, I was confused.  What if I offered it to him and he turned me down because he didn’t really need it?  Was I willing to deal with my pride being spat upon in the face of my generosity of a $20 bill?  What if he did take it and asked for more?  Was I willing to give it?  All of it? But I didn’t offer.  Nor did I give him anything. I had the opportunity to show who I was as a Christ follower.  Instead, I showed who I was as a Christ follower. As I drove home in my nicely-equipped, almost paid-for SUV, I realized that I was not completely comfortable about the encounter with the man without a home.  Yes, my heart was tugged on but clearly not enough to do anything about it.  And that can either mean that maybe I wasn’t supposed to offer the man anything or that my heart has grown calloused to the needs around me. Ruin me, Lord. I need to be ruined.

6 thoughts on “A Man Without A Home”

  1. Wow is right! I love this story because it shows me that we shouldn’t judge others based on their appearance. It is a humbling experience for sure. Thanks for sharing!

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