I can truly say that my heart changed for people on the street when I met this unique man with a story to share. After he told me he’d write me his story, I figured I’d never see him again. Weeks went by and I looked for him every Sunday. My heart saddened at the thought that he thought no one wanted to hear his story.
Then one Friday evening I was at the church and a friend told me he had found a spiral stuffed in the outside doors. He was telling me about it and said he couldn’t quite make out what this writing was supposed to be or who it was for. I was curious and asked to take a look at it. After a few minutes of browsing through it, I realized it was my friends story. I couldn’t believe it! I was so thankful. I was so overjoyed, but yet saddened.
As I first picked up this spiral and began to thumb through it, one of the first things that caught my eye was a page where he wrote . . .
“I’ve been homeless on earth, most of my life. Yes, a tramp, maybe even a gypsy — but NOT a thief.” – BB
I lost it. I was bawling like a baby! I realized instantly how judgmental I am and how I’ve thought of others on the street corners as scammers or thieves as they ask for money.
And this man, who grew up in the most horrible of homes, who served our country during Vietnam, who ended up homeless . . . thought I and others viewed him as a thief. That one written sentence has rocked my heart! Who am I to judge why somebody is on the street? Who am I to judge who is legit and who might be a thief? Who am I to decide who I help or not?
My new friends story is precious. I’m praying about how God wants to use his story to help others. I sit today staring at his handwritten story and I’m tearing up. Maybe his story was to help me!
My new friend came back to church the next Sunday and I was ready for him. I had brought another spiral for him to fill up with more of his story. He’s right, he has an incredible story, but as I read I realize there is so much for me to learn from him. While he writes to share his story, he throws in the most awesome pieces of wisdom like . . .
“The getto is not in shacks and ran down areas. The getto is a place in the human heart. A getto can be in a mansion, on a ranch, or by the ocean where there is no love and no belief in God.” – BB
Take time to be aware and listen to others, because you just never know what you might learn!