This was one of the questions I asked myself as I looked out through the window of a restaurant on Robson Street in Vancouver yesterday.
A man, wrapped in a blanket, sitting on the cold sidewalk, with but a dish in front of him for company. Head hung low, avoiding eye contact. For over an hour I watched hundreds of people walking past, ignoring him. During that time perhaps four people paused briefly to drop loose change into the dish.
As I watched, I remembered the saying, “A society will be judged by how it treats its weakest members.” Do we just walk by, denying our weakest members their existence? Mother Theresa said it best:
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.”
I found myself praying for this man who I didn’t know. I was curious about his life and what pain he must have suffered through. Just then someone stopped: a man pulled out his wallet and handed over a bill – and didn’t walk away. He stayed to chat a while. The two shared a laugh, their conversation was animated.
This was a random ‘act of love’ I had witnessed. I envisioned angels chest pumping and high-fiving in celebration of this connection of hearts.