Sunday, February 08, 2009

At the Corner of Sixth and Graham

I've been struck a few times recently-
not by lightning...although apparently the odds are good-
but by those nuggets that just "get" me.

For now, just one.
But look for "The Audible Gasp" coming soon to a blogspot near you.

The man on the corner downtown.
He just needed someone to notice him.
And although I noticed, and offered him some food,
it wasn't him so much that stood out in my mind.
He brought me back to Seattle.
That was last July.
I met a young guy there -
maybe 23ish.
Not much younger than I.
He reminded me of someone dear who not long ago was in his shoes.
He was trying to camouflage himself with the newspaper boxes in front of the McDonalds.
I noticed him when I walked inside,
but noticing him wasn't enough.
I felt sick to my stomach the whole time I stood in line.
Shouldn't someone do something?
How can all of these people walk inside and order food and not doing anything?
It bothers me still how quickly I threw the "someone" and "all of these people" out, but failed to make it "I".
Will the people in the restaurant be upset if I talk to him? Maybe that would encourage him to loiter outside their doors more often?
"Really Van? Are you seriously concerned about that?"
I carried my tray to my table and joined my mom and grandma.
But I just couldn't stomach what I had on my tray.
I raised my question to them, "Do you think he's hungry?"
"Yes," one of them told me. "He was asking for money."
I got up from my chair and asked if he'd like something to eat.
The look in his eyes, and his soft, somewhat shame-filled voice told me that he would.

I wish I knew his name.
I wish he knew that I think of him often and lift him in prayer.

I won't forget the way he tucked that McDonald's bag under his jacket and walked away almost silently.

I hope I have faith and courage enough to not walk by and call "someone" to the opportunities I am given a little more often.