About two weeks ago, my daughter and I were out getting food. While we were preparing to leave an older gentleman approached the car. He said “I ain’t asking you for food someone already bought me something, but I am a veteran and I don’t have anywhere to stay. I work everyday but I can’t afford a place to live and sometimes what I make I can’t get a room at the boarding house”. He preceded to show me the standard hospital band that showed he had just gotten out of the veteran’s hospital and began to tell me his back story. While he was talking I was barely listening. I had already made up my mind that I wouldn’t give him anything. But I changed my mind. I proceeded to tell my daughter to give me a five dollar bill out of my purse. But the Spirit led me to give him 20 dollars, enough to pay for the room he needed at the boarding house and enough to get something to eat later on. He went on to say that women help him more than men, that they just rolled their windows up and ignored him. I too was tempted to do the same, to pass judgement, to say that he needed to get a job, to ask his family or many other excuses we give for not being kind to one another. What made me change my mind was the Spirit showing me that, he could be me. That he IS me. Life happens. All too often we live with a false sense of security. We think that nothing will touch us, we will always have what we have. We foolishly think that our health, our looks, our wealth, our family will be there. We walk around condescending others for not working hard enough, not pulling up their bootstraps and grinding. At the end of our exchange he said “I would hug you but I am dirty”. I instantly gave him a hug. I wanted to let him know that regardless of his condition, he mattered, he was still loved. I could empathize with his struggle. I know that it a moment I could be where he is. Needing a helping hand. I HAVE been where he is and someone helped me out. I think that if we would all begin to live with the realization that life happens, that at any moment everything we have can be taken away we would be more human, more apt to help, to love, to live in the moment. Although I have had many encounters with homeless people, this was one that touched me a lot as I could see my family there. Living with what we are going through right now I understand what it means to need to be seen as human, as valuable and able or for someone to just stop and give you 20 dollars and a hug.