SURVIVAL & HEALING,  Uncategorized

Homelessness And the Man At the Waterfall

So I am going to share an old journal writing that still affects me when I think about the two instances that occurred that inspired this entry to be written.  Homelessness is on my mind.


The Boy With the Sad Eyes

There are moments in my life that stop me cold and my heart hurts. During those moments I start contemplating my own life and how I could have helped someone and maybe didn’t.  One of these moments was a few years ago passing through a Taco Bell drive-thru window.

I was tired after working all night and just wanted to grab food for my family and get home. While stopped to wait for traffic I noticed a young man stand up from the steps and start coming my way. I instantly rolled my window up and shook my head, driving off.

Nagging Feeling

BUT something nagged at me. I had looked into his eyes.  We can see the soul through someone’s eyes. This one night, I was nagged by the memory of his eyes. A mile down the road I couldn’t stand it. I had to go back. So I doubled back and went back through the lane, hoping this young man was still there.  YES, he was still there.


He started to get up and realized it was the same car so he sat back down. I only had a $20 bill in my purse that night. I rolled the window down, just a crack, and held my hand out. The boy jumped up from the stoop and ran over to snatch it from my fingers. He thanked me and I drove off.

As I looked out the rear mirror I saw that he had just noticed that the bill was a twenty. He ran to the street waving his thank you and smiling. Curiosity got the best of me. I pulled into a nearby parking lot to see what he would do.


Did it even matter?  We give unconditionally. We cannot put limits or rules on the gift once it is given. But I still wanted to know if he was going to take my hard earned money and run to the liquor store with it. 

He entered the Taco Bell and a few minutes later came out with two large bags, sat on his stoop and began to eat. 

I cried the entire way home. And I have never forgotten that boy with the sad eyes who was able to eat well that night. 

MEMORY FROM THE PAST – (Journal entry)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Current Mood: Cold

This morning I feel that I have to share this because it’s been bothering me all day. I work downtown in a place that is connected to the Seelbach Hotel. My parking lot is  in the back of the building and I walk into the service door of the hotel to get to work.  There is a tiny waterfall under the roof where the parking attendant sits. That little waterfall amazes me every time I walk into work. There, in the middle of a concrete jungle is a piece of green and a waterfall that almost no one ever sees. 


This morning I was walking past and noticed three policemen standing near my waterfall, waving an ambulance over. And then I noticed him. The homeless man that I have seen walking behind the buildings before, always looking in the dumpsters. He was sitting propped up against the concrete wall and his head and neck were slumped over. The police were shaking him and he wasn’t moving. The ambulance pulled up and blocked my view.


I can’t stop thinking about him. This little man, alone in the world, sitting there in the pouring rain against the wet concrete wall…

Any other morning I would have rushed right past him without looking his way. Why would this helpless man scare me so much? Why would I go out of my way to avoid him? What harm would it have done to have locked eyes for a second? Would it hurt me to just smile and ask his name? He is a human being. And the thought of him sitting there in the rain alone this morning, possibly dying (or probably drunk) is breaking my heart. 


We all long for touch, or a kind word. What would make him any different? Just because he doesn’t have a roof over his head or nice clothes doesn’t make him less than human.

If he is still out there next week I am going to smile at him. I am going to make a point of asking his name. Just so he knows that he is part of this society, part of this world, despite his lack of address or his lack of work, or the presence of alcohol… whatever his circumstances might be.

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