Just walk on by?

It started for me in Philly, June 2017. My knees were sore, so instead of running (slow jogging) I started walking. Long walks, listening to podcasts and enjoying whatever the city had to offer.

At that slower pace, I’d look around and think. This particular morning was beautiful, and I was excited about getting out and exploring the great city of Philadelphia.

Then I saw it…and I saw it everywhere. They were on the sidewalk, benches, on the stairs that Rocky ran up. Cardboard, newspapers, rundown tents & tarps, old sleeping bags, no sleeping bags–just laying out in the morning sun. To group them as “Homeless” seemed a misnomer. They had a home, and they might still. Now, jackhammers were making way for new sidewalks as they slept and construction cranes twirl above with progress while they wandered along the street on the street…unprotected, lost, most likely scared and lonely.

And you know what I did? I walked by. “No sir”, I said looking into the haunted eyes of another human being, “I can’t help you.” One of God’s children. Someone whose parents rejoiced on the day they were born and had the highest hopes for. I had money in my wallet, new shoes on my feet, and so many blessings from God, but I couldn’t possibly be bothered to help.

I can’t help you—–but I COULD help you, and I SHOULD help you, I just have no clue how to do so in the right way. So I don’t. And you stay on the street. Take the “Good” out of the Samaritan story and there I am.

In this 24/7 world crammed onto us about macro problems, we worry about things we can’t control. Who the President is in a Twitter fight with….”Climate Change”…will the Dawgs ever beat Saban…But we have these problems on the micro and individual level that we could solve, and just don’t. Individuals that we could help one-by-one and don’t. People, with dreams and souls, and we pass them by as if they are less. They aren’t.

I’ve been all over the world, and seen them begging. Little kids–begging for pocket change for food. In Delhi, Bangkok, Lima, Entebbe, Toronto….but today I see them again in Nashville, Portland, Minneapolis, and Atlanta.

I see it, and it is getting worse. And what do I do? just keep walking and passing them by. No sir, I can’t help. The American economy is roaring. There is new construction and more “Help Wanted” signs than you can count in every city, and they are still there. Lost, hungry, and lonely.

And all I can do is write about it. Pathetic.

Anybody got any answers?


Trying to be Salt, Light, with Grace & Grit.

One thought on “Just walk on by?

  1. Find a local emergency shelter or homeless prevention program and volunteer/donate to them. There are a lot of great things happening out there if you look for them.

    Liked by 1 person

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