I make eye contact. Eye contact is the key, but it’s also the mistake.
The mistake if you want to go on with your day uninhibited by feelings of sadness, compassion, and confusion.
His sign read,”Homeless Vet. Anything will help. God Bless. WWJD.”
What does God’s blessing mean to this man?
A shady spot to sit on a bucket with his dog? Some spare change? A few more cigarettes and something to eat for lunch?
An undoing of what was done to him on some distant desert battlefield, or some not so distant home? Like the rest of us, forgiveness for the mistakes he’s made?
How about the acknowledgement that he is a human being and not an eyesore under the 101-S bridge?
I don’t know, but I wonder…
It’s remarkable the conversations that we with money and security have about our homeless neighbors:
“They’re just looking for a handout. They don’t want to work. He’s just going to buy booze with my money.”
These sentiments make it easier for most to drive by without helping, without even acknowledging his existence. They help us to forget.
But what if we found out our assumptions were false? What would we do then?