Sometimes I come across a blog post that I just have to share. The excerpt below is from Kazegadway – Finding the Wonder Daily.
As I cruised the streets where homeless sleep, I encounter a single young woman wrapped up in a blanket trying to keep warm. I stopped to give her a warm sleeping bag. She spoke very clearly. “I was so cold last night that I didn’t think I would wake up. Then I wake up and someone is offering me a sleeping bag. That is so amazing.”
I grin and leave as she wraps up and goes back to sleep. I worry that she is going to be harmed by sleeping in the open with no friends nearby. Then a homeless man in a jacket and backpack calls out to me. “I’m watching to see no one steals her blanket. Thanks for stopping by.”
I am blessed twice over. Once by a young woman who awakes amazed at the world. And again by a homeless man who watches over her.
The author is in her “7th decade.” A woman who, after spending a lifetime working to address the root causes of poverty around the world, now spends her days tending the homeless, and writing about her encounters. The excerpt above is from a post called “Wake Up Amazed” and you can read the rest of that post at that link.
But every post is a gem, filled with compassion, wisdom, and humility. She writes in “Attention“:
I find myself paying attention to where the homeless sleep or just hang out during the day. I notice who has a blanket or a backpack and if they are alone or with someone. I look at their faces and see alertness or maybe pain. Since I have moved to Albuquerque, they are never just in the background.
Perhaps that is why they talk to me. Something they see in me tells them that I notice them as people.
Here’s another brief snippet from Prayer and Action
One middle aged man talks frankly about looking for a job. “I’m not going to get a job. Every day it seems less possible. The longer I stay away from work, the more I look like a thug, unshaven and dirty.”
I give him all the contacts that I have. I don’t want to end the conversation by saying “good luck” or something else lame. So I hesitate.
“You aren’t going to pray for me, are you?” he says with a laugh.
“I don’t think so,” I say. “But I don’t know how to acknowledge you are a part of eternity without praying. I want you to know that you are special.”
I stop, feeling very stupid.
Stunned, he says “That is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.” He walks away.
Silently with wet eyes I pray “God have mercy.
Her stories touch me deeply. “There but for the grace of God, go I” we sometimes say when encountering people less fortunate than us. There goes my son, your daughter, our Nana, that guy I went to Prom with, the girl who broke my heart in college. The professor who seemed half-crazy in the kindest, wisest way. The next-door neighbor who took in stray cats and fed me cookies when I was a kid. They are part of us.
Reading her simple posts brings to mind what the Christian mystic Julian of Norwich wrote so long ago:
God is to us everything that is good and comfortable for us: He is our clothing that for love wrappeth us, claspeth us, and all encloseth us for tender love, that He may never leave us; being to us all-thing that is good, as to mine understanding.
Between God and the human there is no between.
I hope you will take a look at her blog. You may “wake up amazed” by how profound simple kindness can be. Kazegadway – Finding the Wonder Daily.