What do you do when you are posed with a dilemma???
I had one yesterday morning. There was a lady who needed help. She was obviously homeless. She had camped out in a place where she felt safe.
We do not have homeless shelters in our small town. What was I to do? I wanted to handle it with kindness, as not to scare her. I was uneasy myself. I didn’t want to do anything or say anything to make her bad situation worse.
She had stayed out in a storm Monday night, a pretty rough storm and there are more supposed to move through today.
I made some calls and ran into dead ends. I did the only thing I knew to do. I called the authorities. She wanted to get to a neighboring town. I know the local sheriff and I called him and explained the place I was in. My father had come over when I had called. I looked at them both and said “Be Kind”.
I knew she had to be scared, embarrassed, not sure what to do. The first words from her mouth were ” I’m so sorry.” I told her that there was nothing to be sorry for. I was going to get her some help and get her to where she wanted to be.
Those would have been the first words out of my mouth also.
We talked. She knew some about computers. It was a common ground for two humans to stand on. We could talk about computers. She was answering questions the best she could as to where she was headed. She really didn’t have a plan.
I watched her as she packed up her belongings. Everything was vital to her existence. The cardboard that she had sat and slept on during the torrential rain storm the night before was wet. She still kept it. It was her bed, her chair and her floor.
The black plastic covering was her roof. As she wadded it up and put it in her suit case, she said “It’s wet but I need it”.
I told her I was sorry that she had slept out in the storm. She had been there for two days. She told me that the weather didn’t bother her, she was more scared of “some crazy” getting her. She told me how she had to move her belongings in two trips and someone had “throttled” one of her bags on the side of the road.
At one point she asked me if I had a rubber band. I told her I did. I handed her two and a zipper close bag. She was thankful for that.
When she got ready to leave, I told her that I hoped she got where she was headed safely.
She thanked me for being kind to her. The following words will be forever etched in my memory… “Thanks for talking to me, making me laugh and to allow me to get out of my own head for a little while”.
Needless to say, last night when I laid down in my bed, I was very thankful for all those comforts I have been blessed to enjoy. I was also thankful for those people in my life who love me.
It could be you or I as easily as it was her. I would want to be treated kindly.
I will always wonder about her. I walked away from this with a very different perspective.