The Forlorn Stranger

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, so here you go.  I can’t stop thinking tonight and that usually means I really have to write about it.  Whatever “it” really is.  Every November, I try to do the posts that show you who I am.  Not just because I am a Scorpio, but because it feels right to talk to you about giving back. 

The thing is, I need to give myself permission to be human too.  I don’t like the word “judge” because I feel that it is overused.  So let me paint this picture.  I had to take something back to the store.  I didn’t want to, and really wasn’t going out.  TMI, but I use excuses in my head like “It’s raining and I have PMS.” Whatever.  It was true.  However, somehow I decided to get in the car anyway and take something back to the store not near my house.

I had on my yoga clothes, and my hair was crazy…and I drive a pretty ermmmm beat-up looking mini-van.  BUT it’s PAID for.  And has GANDALF on the side as well as my “Not all who wander are lost” sticker…so it’s been good to me.  It might be leaking oil and perhaps my dad thinks it’s going to break down on me…but it gets me from point A to B.

I live with 7 invisible diseases still…give or take some symptoms that could count as more probably, but I look like a middle-aged, gasp, soccer mom.  I can pull off younger according to nice man at Trader Joe’s who ID’d me for wine saying I looked like a high schooler.  I think he just expected a tip.  Or an invite to drink wine.  Who knows.  But the point to this is, I AM JUST TRYING TO MAKE IT like everyone else. 

As I left the store after returning my cheap leggings, I decided to go next door to check out the work out clothes.  I almost missed him he as he blended into the wall.  There was a young man wrapped up with a sign saying homeless.  My heart skipped a beat and I timidly smiled at him, but secretly thought “Oh shit.  I never carry any cash.  I have to do something even if he isn’t for real.”  <<<< notice that last thought.  It’s ok to think that.

As I went to the dressing room, I dug through my purse to find a card and wrote the name of local shelters on the back.  I went in the line, and bought snacks and a bottle of water.  I put them in a bag with the card.  I walked outside and went right up to him.  He didn’t think I was going to stop.  I could tell.  His eyes looked like he was about to cry.  I glanced at what appeared to be a rather new suitcase, and really big at that, but thought, don’t “judge” that.  Look directly at him.  As I kept eye contact, I began to tell him about a few local shelters and I said here is a snack for you.  I asked him if he knew where a few were and he answered about one being only for women.  I wasn’t even trying to trip him up, but I remembered he was right.

I told him about a program I used to refer families to, and I said is this a recent thing?  He said he was “locked up” and lost his job.  I said okay, well if you promise to do what these people tell you, you can stay there.  He actually smiled a bit around the corners of his mouth and thanked me and said he would look into it.  As I walked away, I didn’t want to know his name.  I just got in my car and thanked Jesus and asked him to protect this unknown stranger.  My eyes welled up with tears as I remembered him looking like he was about to cry as I went up to him and made eye contact.

It was not my place to think about all the other people who I saw in the store.  It was not my place to think of the executive man in the suit.  The woman with riding boots and expensive clothes.  The ladies Christmas shopping already.  The woman who passed me in nice work clothes and watched what I was doing.  It was my place to think what if this was me?  What if this was my brother?  What if this was someone I knew?  What if this was an angel checking on humanity reporting back?  <<< Okay, but it could be.  Anyway, so I just wanted to let you know that I am not always an angel either.  But I do have a good heart.  So do you if you listen to it.

State of gratitude


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