I took a walk during lunch today, and went for a couple of blocks towards the QV building and wandered around inside. It was just to get away from the office for a bit. I like doing that particularly in winter. After a whole morning sitting down at my desk or in meeting rooms, a walk for just a couple of blocks always feels good. Somehow the cold invigorates me. Thankfully lunch wasn’t heavy – a roll with one of those pre-packed Campbell’s soup –the arvo was a lot less slow going as a result. The walk sort of just refreshed things a bit for the onslaught of a busy arvo.
I walked past a couple of homeless people, just sitting in recesses of building facades along the laneways. TT Quah’s sermon last Sunday came to mind but I didn’t know what to do. Give them money? Is that what they really want? Maybe. Maybe there is something else they wanted, or needed. I think if I was homeless and alone, I’d want more than just money. Presumably I will have money through the welfare system, and there will be soup kitchens I can go to for a feed. What would really make a difference perhaps is just warmth. Not necessarily physical warmth although I am sure that would be welcomed too.
I would want the warmth of family and friends, of people I can turn to regardless of whether I am happy or sad. The warmth that doubles a joy and halves my sadness. The warmth that makes my less than perfect clothes, hygiene or health something less of a worry. The warmth that enables me to brush aside a rude and accusing look from a passer-by. The warmth that tells me I am well enough to deal with the knocks of life.
Maybe hope too, would be great. Hope that life can be more than the park benches, the laneways and the shopping trolleys. Hope that each day can see some meaningful task performed other than looking for the perfect spot to shield the cold winds at night. Hope that there can be relationships that bring warmth. Hope that one day, there can be love again.
I walked past the homeless persons and wondered if warmth, hope, love and such other “things” I can say to them God will provide. I wonder if they knew God once and whether the same was promised them. Maybe I’ll ask them. I need to take those walks more.
- Homeless performers take over Royal Opera House (guardian.co.uk)
- Rhode Island Considers First-Of-Its Kind ‘Homeless Bill Of Rights’ (connecticut.cbslocal.com)
- Cold snap in Chile kills 16 homeless persons (sott.net)
- The Stigma of Homelessness (maddiefiles.wordpress.com)
- Invisible People. We ARE Visible. Helping The Homeless. (theobamacrat.com)
- Crime and Human Rights (15): The Criminalization of Poverty (filipspagnoli.wordpress.com)
- Homeless senior found under Toronto staircase identified (thestar.com)
- Homeless senior found under Toronto staircase identified (metronews.ca)
- Church soup kitchens to run through summer (ekathimerini.com)
- I Go Bananas for the Homeless and the Hungry (foodservicewarehouse.com)