Every now and then, from 2am-6am, I help distribute food and connect with homeless folks on the streets of Toronto.
Just about every time there’s a conversation that goes like this:
– Is that someone over there?
– Nope, just a pile of garbage
– No Wait, that’s actually a person.
Or, in the words of the early 90s hip hop group arrested development, “Mr. Wendal, a man, a human in flesh, but not by law”. Which also reminds me of my favorite line in that song
“Uncivilized” we call him,
but I just saw him
Eat off the food we waste”
(I’d embed the youtube video, but the early 90s fashion throws the whole message off)
It’s hard enough finding the homeless when I’m intentionally looking for them, I wonder how many I miss when I’m just passing by.
And how many times do we purposefully try to avoid eye-contact all together?
When the Scriptures describe Peter’s encounter with a crippled beggar, he asks for the man to look at him. I use to think of this as demanding, but maybe he was summoning the humanity in the both of them.
How is it that the hand that feeds, can also be the one that ignores?