The guy sitting on the curb with his back to me beside the dumpster when I pulled in to retrieve my gas cap really wasn’t expecting anyone to talk to him, I am sure. He had a patient id band on his left hand. His hands looked swollen for some reason. He had a jacket and a light backpack. I walked up to him and asked my favorite question-“did you eat today?” Do you know how many people will answer no, or not since this morning when its around or after supper time? Try it. Of course, don’t pick people who look like they’ve got a home and are secure….ask the scruffy looking ones. They really haven’t eaten. Not well. Or check out the people sitting in McDonalds or Burger King, who may only have a drink in front of them and look kind of scruffy. Some of these people only need a kind word, or a smile. And to give them a sandwich or a meal, you’ll make their day. I didn’t have money for the guy on the curb to buy a meal. I live pretty close to the pennies myself, and there have been times I’ve had nothing more than change in my wallet. I had left overs from my lunch that I had packed….and I gave the guy what I had. Roast beef, an apple, and some cookies. The smile on his face made my day. And he said the funniest thing. “Roast beast”. I asked him “What?” He smiled and said “I call it roast beast”. I smiled and patted him on the back and told him to enjoy it. What he didn’t know is that it brought back memories of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” If I remember Boris Karloff’s narration, the words went something like “he even took the roast beast”. How many times year after year I watched that video with my kids. It’s one of my favorite lines. To hear it from the homeless hungry guy? It made me feel like a hundred bucks.
Roast beast. All we need to do is look around us. In Jesus’ day, He spent his time among the poor, the sinners, the low life’s of the Jewish world. He taught the disciples to look after the widows and orphans. Today, we have single homeless women with children who have no dads. We have homeless veterans, lost from the world by circumstances that are not of their making. We have guys who for whatever reason, lost their job, then they lost their hope. They become alcoholics and addicts, derelicts of society that most people won’t talk to. Walk by a charity center on a rainy day and check out the crowd. For the sake of us all, take some pity on these people!! They are not castaways. They are not discards. They are all God’s children, just like you and me. A Saturday brunch by a group of well meaning Christians isn’t enough, it’s nice, but it isn’t enough. There’s just too many underserved homeless, many are Veterans. Many are women and children. It’s time to get out there and help. It doesn’t take much at all. I’m working on getting two of the guys that I wrote about from Fort Myers Beach into some free housing. One of them is a veteran. I have resources to help these guys get their self respect back. Do you know a veteran that could use a home? Contact me through Tree of Hope Ministries. I can help. Do you know a homeless woman with children who needs housing? I may be able to help. It’s got to start somewhere. Will it be you?
God bless you.