Have you ever felt invisible? — Nope!
Have you ever made someone feel invisible? — No! of course not!
Summer is here! And with that comes the return of green grass, flowers, birds and our many homeless! The same corners are filled with those who seem to have nothing. I don’t know about you, but I pass the same corner to and from work, with the same homeless people working the same spot day after day. Once in a while I pull up and give, but more often, I tend to stay back a bit or fiddle with something in the car so I don’t have to lock eyes. Sometimes I pray the light stays green until I get through the intersection. Think about that! I intentionally ignore one of God’s very own!! So, the answer to question number two, for me, is yes. Not my finest moment.
We were blessed to be able to attend my nephew’s wedding in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado this past fall. The evening before the rehearsal dinner was warm. The streets were filled with locals, tourists, college students and quite a few homeless. The seven of us walked the cobblestone streets looking for a restaurant while trying to avoid the pockets of people asking for money. A particular women, clearly drunk, came toward us asking for money to buy cigarettes. My group continued on, giving her wide berth. I was in the back saying to myself, “just keep walking, just keep walking” much like Dori in Finding Nemo! I could smell the alcohol as she approached me. Suddenly I just stopped, looked at her and said I am sorry but I do not have any cash but, I can pray for you. She stopped wobbling, began to cry, and said “Thank You”. I said, “but I have no money!” She said Thank you for acknowledging me, for Seeing me! Most people walk by as if I am not here. I surprised myself at that point, and reached out to hug her. She cried harder. I asked her name, it was Shelly. I said, “I will pray for you.” (I meant I would add her to my list for bedtime prayers). But noooooooo! She took off her hat, made the sign of the cross, extended both her hands and waited for me to take them. She wanted me to pray with her right then and there in the middle of the streets of Fort Collins. I was speechless!! Right now, Right here? There were people every-where. My heart was racing! I looked up to God and heard him say, “Pull up your big girl pants. I’ve got you!” So, I took her hands and prayed, out loud! I really don’t even remember the prayer. I hugged her again and off she went. I don’t know if our encounter changed her life, but it sure made an impact on mine and the family members I was with.
All my family is Christian and the reactions were different! My parents hung back to ensure my safety, my brother’s first words were “check your pockets” and then it went on to people commenting that there were plenty of jobs and no sympathy for people that were homeless begging for food or money.
However, the next night after a bountiful, rehearsal dinner with lots of leftovers, another member of our group, from the night be-fore, suggested we go find Shelly and give her and anyone else a wonderful meal served by us!!
While they did not find Shelly, they did locate a Union Gospel Mission and gave them the, much appreciated, dinner.
Thank you, Shelly, for reminding us that we are all children of God and no one should be made to feel invisible!