It’s not often I write anything other than non-fiction, something based on a topic God lays on my heart that I know others can connect with. But this time, God laid a short narrative on my heart as I passed a homeless woman on the side of the road. He made me think about the person behind the cardboard sign a little more than usual. If she wrote a note to us, I think this is what it would say.
A girl with a cross hanging around her rear view mirror is putting on mascara at the red light while the guy behind her in the Mercedes talking on the phone throws a cigarette out the window.
I make eye contact with them both, but the girl looks afraid and double checks that her doors are locked while the man says to his friend on the other line, “I would give this homeless woman some money but she looks like she will probably just use it for drugs.”
I lower my sign and my head and walk down to the next light, hoping for at least one person to give me something, anything. I haven’t eaten in days and I’m not sure where I’ll sleep tonight.
I wish the people whizzing by on the way to their homes knew that my husband kicked me out and took everything I own. I wish they knew I’m trying to get a job, but I can’t make it to work without a car. I wish they knew I was doing the best I can with what I have. I wish they knew that it is humiliating to ask for their help, but I really do need it. I wish they knew that just like all people with homes aren’t the same, neither are homeless people. I’m not using the money for drugs and I’m not scamming them just to make money and avoid working. I’d love to have a job. I’d love to be the woman in the mini van dropping her kids off at school before she goes to her 9-5 job. But that’s not the lot I was dealt for now.
So, I’ll keep holding my cardboard sign and trying to catch the eye of the right person at the right time and hope they hear a still, small voice say, “Be my hands and feet and help her just a little.”
But if they don’t, that’s ok because I still get to wake up to see another day.
I may be homeless, but I know that this is not my home anyway.