Thoughtful Thursday July 11, 2013

Some days I feel like I’ve really hit a nerve with my posts. I’m getting to people. Connecting. Making a difference. Others, MOST, I feel I’m pouring my heart out only to not have the love reciprocated. I feel like Dory in Finding Nemo. Saying “just keep swimming, just keep swimming….” She was telling all the fish to swim to the bottom of the net so ultimately Nemo would be set free. I want to be set free and I’m willing to “swim” for it.

Last week I wrote about our forefathers because it was July 4. Previous weeks I’ve written about the current books I’m reading. Unfortunately, with my visitors and a still sick young one I have not done any reading. I plan on changing that soon. Possibly tomorrow because tonight I have a sick baby in my arms with an 8:15 doctors appointment we have to drive 40 minutes to get to.

I would like to share a story:
Once you have read The Map your senses awaken. Your eyes see the world differently. I was raised with what I would consider a realistic view of the world. My dad taught me about gang tattoos ( I had to learn them in case I was ever harmed. I knew what to look for). He took me to neighborhoods where I could see drug deals. I once saw someone cook his drug of choice followed by shooting up. I knew how to shoot a pistol and shot gun. Never walked into a parking lot without mace in one hand and a key between my index and middle finger in the other hand. I looked under my car as I approached it and the backseat. Never entered my car if a van was parked next to me. I stayed 2-3 cars back at stop signs and red lights in case some tried to car jack me I could flee. When I got my first car I had to take all 4 tires off and put them all back on. He taught me so many life skills I want to teach our children. So many I didn’t list here but possibly will one day. They are important. I was told to NEVER EVER pick up a hitchhiker or give money to a beggar. (Not sure of the politically correct word) My dad was in the US Border Patrol. Life on the border I thought was tough. Watch tv, you see what happens if you help strangers. The news shows the bad. TV shows sensationalize the horror.

Shhhh…….don’t tell my dad but yesterday I gave money to a beggar for the first time.

We needed a few things from the store. Normally I go to Walmart, no Target within 30 miles. Yesterday for whatever reason I went around the corner to Big Lots. This brought me out a different exit. There was a young man, full of shame, sadness, filth and Jesus holding up a sign that said “hard times Please help “. I don’t sit at corners and ignore people standing there. I look at them. Being raised as I was I almost play a game with myself to see who really needs the money and who doesn’t. I’ve seen women fake being pregnant and men fake needing wheel chairs. Anyway…. This person was different. All of the older kids at the same time said “we have to give him something”. They know my rule. They have NEVER seen me give money nor do they ask to. They know there are places for homeless people to go to for help. I was already reaching in my wallet when they all spoke at the same time. I gave them money and they all got out to hand it to him. He didn’t want to take all of it. It was too much. It was maybe $6. They insisted he said “bless you” to them. We already decided we were getting happy hour sonic drinks. I had $25 in my wallet. Mind you this is my money to get me through the rest of the week. That’s how I budget. Have a set amount. Stick to it. The kids wanted to give him more. I informed the kids groceries were low, we wouldn’t shop until Friday. I explained our sacrifice if we gave him the rest. I said let’s get our Sonic drinks and talk about it. They didn’t budge. In fact 2 kids that wanted a snack decided not to get theirs and one put in $2 of their own money. When all was said and done we went back and gave him around $18 more. That’s huge for someone who DOES NOT do this. I let the kids give him the money. What happened next changed me forever.

As they walked back to the car I got out. Asking Jesus to speak through me as I’ve done several times before ( always in court though) I walked up as firmly and strong as I could locking eyes with him. He just said thank you over and over. I proceeded to tell him about usually going to Walmart. I pointed to the sky and I said Jesus sent us here. I don’t know why us. I was taught never to do this and have taught my kids the same. I will continue to teach them not to give to people begging on the street. I went on to tell him I didn’t know his circumstance and didn’t need to know because whatever it was the led him there I knew along the way he found what he was looking for and that was Jesus/ God. He never lost eye contact with me. He nodded his head yes. I continued to explain THE MAP. Imagine as if. Asked him what he wanted out of life. He has no idea. I asked what negative things weigh him down. He said he’s 19 and his own momma doesn’t love him, his words, when he was 4 he fell out of bunk beds suffered severe brain trauma and had to relearn everything and now cannot keep a job. I said for now on those are not negatives. His mom doesn’t love herself. Jesus loves him. He is made of love and by the grace of God he was healed and did relearn everything. I begged him to not let a negative thought come into his head. If one did to replace it immediately with the opposite. Gave him examples. I’m never going to be anything changes to I
will be anything and everything I chose. I asked him to pretend to be wearing the best clothes he could imagine and even if he had to sleep in the ditch that night to pretend it was the fanciest hotel he could imagine. Live as if. Think as if. I told him I hope we cross paths again under different circumstances. He agreed. We spent about 10 minutes together. I left him with a huge hug. He hugged me tighter than I have been hugged in a long time. He taught me more than I can even say right now. I have to process this. When we got home we looked his name up on Facebook. His last post was May 9. A cry out for help. Many cries for help were posted on his wall. He posted almost everyday until May 9. I can only assume he’s been on the streets since then. My heart breaks. I looked for drug usage signs, sores, eye dilation, etc. not that I’m any kind of expert but I saw nothing. All I saw was a 19 year old helpless, hopeless young man full of goodness and need to feel loved. May God reign down blessings on him wherever he is tonight and every night. May God bless our family so that our kids never know that pain. May they always feel their mothers love and have a safe place to call home.

I’m not quite sure what they learned yesterday. I know they prayed for him last night and tonight. I’m waiting for the coming days and weeks. Hoping to hear them speak of the experience. We will see. Time will tell. Gods plan and Gods time for all things. I know this for certain. I also know I told them ” do as I say not as I do ” They aren’t aloud to do such things until they are 41 -almost 42!!!

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