Complaining, I mutter under my breath as I bolt for the car. When is this incessant rain going to stop? I toss my bags in the front seat and slide into the driver seat. Shivering until the heater kicks in.
Key inserts into ignition as a dark figure moves across my path. A man who’s homeless on the street. Our eyes make contact through the windshield. He stares into mine. Eyes blank. Water teeming down his face. Clothes soaked beyond. Soggy.
I want to look away. But I’m held captive. His eyes soften. Then he smiles. Not a big one. Just enough to acknowledge. He’s ok.
As I back out into the roadway I return the smile – totally impacted by this encounter. I wrestle with myself. Should I do more? I toss an arrow prayer upwards on his behalf.
I feel convicted by my comfortable life. A car to carry me home. A roof over my head. A hot shower. Warm blankets. A bedtime snack. In stark contrast, he stands under the awning of my office door. Alone. Wet beyond wet.
This image remains in my heart. It won’t go away. We run to help people on the street during snowstorms. Rescue them from extreme cold. What about waterlogged days?
I am grateful for comfort but in the midst of my comfort, I’m uncomfortable.
Papa, please don’t allow me to slip in to apathy. Please never allow me to look the other way and ignore what takes place in my own back yard. May I forever be mindful that I can always do more to help others who struggle.
Even if it’s a simple gesture – taking a moment to return a smile to another heart – a heart alone, troubled and waterlogged by life.