Life is precious. But when we think of life issues, we often primarily think of abortion or assisted suicide. However, the life issue is broader than that. My son, who lives on the East Coast, became keenly aware of this fact recently. Here is his story, in his own words:
A dear friend of mine passed away late last year. She lived in my neighborhood and had been there for quite some time. Her neighbors frequently stopped by and talked with her, and she was a fixture of our community. However, my friend’s home was a bus stop. Her name was Carmen. She was homeless.
I first noticed her a few months into my new job. She was sleeping at the bus stop as I was leaving work one night. As I looked closely at her for the first time. I realized how isolated she seemed, alone and unprotected in the darkness.
A few days later, I offered her two trail mix bars and a candy bar. She eagerly accepted them and then stuffed them into her cart for safekeeping. “Thank ya, baby,” she said, beaming from ear to ear. As summer turned into fall, I brought her blankets and other things she needed. Whenever I would see her, her face would brighten, and she’d ask, “How ya doin’ baby?”
Getting to know Carmen was a truly wonderful experience for me; she was my friend. On Thanksgiving Day, I brought Carmen a platter of cookies, and she was so grateful that she gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Even though it was cold outside, that hug and kiss warmed me more than a roaring fireplace.
A few weeks before Christmas, I asked Carmen if she wanted anything special and she requested a radio so that she could listen to music. It took me a while to order it, but it was scheduled to arrive on the evening of December 27th. I couldn’t wait to see the look on Carmen’s face when I gave it to her.
That night, I hopped off the bus, ready to run home and bring the radio back to Carmen. To my surprise, she wasn’t asleep on her bench, though her cart and blankets were still there. Then I noticed a piece of paper taped to the side of the bus stop that read, “May God welcome Carmen with open arms.”
I walked home in a daze, only to be greeted with the sight of the shipping box with the radio. I had missed giving it to her by one precious day.
It’s very easy to look at Carmen’s story and call it a tragedy. However, she didn’t let her hardships define who she was. Even though she had every reason to be bitter and spend her days avoiding outside contact, she chose to make the most of her situation and tried to rise above it.
So, I ask you, the next time you see a homeless person who doesn’t have the love and support of a family, help them out if you can, or just simply sit and talk with them if you have time. But most importantly, don’t forget about them. You will likely change their lives, but they will also change yours.
Having a pro-life worldview changes the way we see every person we meet, at every stage of life.
“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14: 13-14