Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Lesson In Homelessness: An Elder Brother In Need

Today was and still is a good sunny day Saturday, October 22, 2016...

So later on this afternoon towards early evening I went by the local library to really "meet up" with an elder brother in Christ, an elder homeless black man whom I have met around town previously; ran into last Monday and seen at church prior to that at "Calvary Christian Center Church".


Today, I had prepared him a small but "decent" meal to take with him if he would accept it.

Last time I've been talking with him he's like, "Man, I've haven't eaten for days... Been dumpster-diving to make it..."

I said, "You been downtown yet like I told you earlier and get any help?"

He's like "Nah, no... Don't got no bus fare..."

I'm like, "I didn't have much money either. I just walked all the way down there on Lyons."

He's like "Nah, I don't walk..."

I'm thinking to myself you must not be very serious about making it then.

To my folly I offered him two unripe (yet eatable) green-skinned oranges to eat last time we spoke and he's like "Nah, I don't want that..."

I admit it was a quick snack I had brought with me and not ideally want I would have given him to eat.

But I figured it was "something better than nothing".

Fast-forward to today I met him out standing outside the library door entrance looking at himself in the reflection of the front entrance door window panels; talking to himself.

Then when he noticed I walked up from behind him he's all asking me "You see something on me?"

I'm like "No... There's nothing on you."

The elder man must have been having a "schizophrenic episode cuz nothing was on him.

I kept trying to talk to him and get his attention as he was hunched over scratching his back as though trying to "scratch something" off his back and pant's legs or something...

Really bizarre out front but I understood something must have been going on in his head; so I was not too alarmed.

I then thought and remembered to mention "I have a vial of anointing oil. Want me to anoint your head and pray over you?"

Eventually he realizes I'm talking to him and responds, "No, no, I'm ai'aith...".

When he was really scratching at himself I stretched my hands out and prayed over him for God to help him out. Did not know want to do for himself.

He then goes to ask, "You have any bus fare?" I'm like "No, I don't have enough to be doing that now" and left it there.

I offered him two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and two apples in a white Dollar Tree plastic bag to take with him to have on hand later to eat... but he DECLINED!

He's like, "No, no..." I'm thinking to myself and at first I tried to urge him two more times, "You sure? You can have this to eat LATER on hand. Not now. But for later." He's still like "No."

After that I'm thinking, well, he must not be serious if he's really "hungry" now to eat. Beggars can't be choosers! Amen!

I'm not even in the boat myself still in a kind of "semi-homelessness" to just "hand out money" to other homeless folks just WASTING money on a lot of petty foolishness...

At first I thought he was in dire need, but somehow he's making it. Still watching out for him as the Lord leads but the thing is... He just wanted me to "give him some money" and "go on". A "hand-out" with no "follow-up help".

I'm not in a position to do that for folks, and even if I was, I've learned the mistake of doing that to "enable" people to "live off other people's generosity".

A while back ago I TOLD HIM to go DOWNTOWN where I heard from another experienced homeless black man (I think by choice) who told me of a local downtown Houston charity that be giving out McDonald's hamburgers afternoon in town. But he NEVER followed up on my advice.

Already telling him he's not gonna get much help from people or resources in this area because it's poor and people are afraid, apprehensive, indifferent and don't have time to help out the homeless roaming around the area.

I've been here long enough to know what's available and who and what might help someone: not much help here. Downtown is where all the resources at mainly.

So back again he's like saying, "I haven't eaten in (so-and-so) days.... Looking at Samburger over there. I want to get a burger."

From the get-go I'm already thinking he's wanting me to "fork over money" to buy him a burger at Samburger but the burgers there are EXPENSIVE at around $10.00-up. I wasn't about to do that. I've never regularly spent that much money on a "burger" out some place to eat besides a "rare treat".

I replied, "Samburger is expensive. I already told you where you can get some burgers for free downtown. You need to SAVE your money. Even when I was homeless on the streets I didn't and wouldn't waste any money at a restaurant for a burger."

I wasn't being "unkind" when I said this. I've met the man enough times to figure out he's always "shaping his statements" in a way to get me to "offer him up" some "money" to do whatever he wants with it. I could be giving him beer, drug, cigarette money or anything else, Lord Knows and yet and still I'm even homeless myself and don't have nobody "watching my back" who'd be willing to return the favour.

I don't expect "help" and don't even want help at the "inconvenience" of the person offering me help but I like to think I have close friends and people who would be "willing" to help me at my wit's end if really needed someone's help. Would be "willing" to really help if they can. That's who I give the benefit of a doubt and some credit.

So, having nothing more to say because I didn't want to "push my agenda" on him since he didn't accept my help I just said, "Okay, well, I hope to see you this Sunday at church if you come" to which he replied more-or-less "Yeah, okay, alright..." and walked on.

I'm keeping elder brother "J" as I'll call him in prayer. Don't know his life, only God knows.

What I do know is GOD has a PLAN and WILL for our lives and it's up to US to ASK HIM and OBEY HIS PLAN AND WILL over our lives and not "ignore His Calling" over our lives.

It's an EXCUSE to say you "have nothing to do". GOD created you for HIS WILL. If you ask God what His Will is for your life you ALWAYS have something to do. Guaranteed. We are to "pray without ceasing" for instance.That leaves no room for "nothing to do". Amen.

Don't trust no one who claims to know God and still live "aimlessly" as though they have "nothing to do". That's a big, fat LIE of the Devil! Amen!

A person might be "ignorant" of God's Overall Plan and Will for his/her life like we all are but GOD has something for EVERYONE TO DO. I know I do. I'm doing some of it in this blog post, God-willing, hoping to do more for even the world to see; but I KNOW I must always be fruitful doing SOMETHING. NO EXCUSE.

You know what you need to do. Quit "hiding", "procrastinating" and "avoiding" God's Purpose for YOUR LIFE. I didn't quite know God was calling me to be a preacher and minister in my youth; now I do. Also a "creator" of various things (to be seen... God-willing).

So yeah, back to drawing board... Amen!

~ Sincerely,

Bro. Jed

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