A HOMELESS MAN

homeless man

image courtesy of photobucket.com

He was obviously homeless, but he wasn’t asking anyone for anything. The old shopping cart he was pushing served as much as a cane as it did a receptacle to hold the empty cans he was collecting from any place he could find.

His steps were short and choppy, but they were fairly quick for his age. I don’t think the old guy weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. I guess it would have been a good time to check, due to the sweat covered tattered old clothes he was sporting.

I’m not sure why the man ended up homeless. I’m curious as to why he couldn’t have somehow found his way out of the southwest desert before summer hit with its yearly vengeance.

Maybe he was invisible to everyone except me? As he walked by not another person in the coffee shop even looked up. Everyone was in their own world… And the homeless man was in his…

I’ve slept outside in the summer time around here many years ago. I can tell you without hesitation, it ain’t no picnic…

The little things many of us take for granted in life are really big things.

Some of the luxuries or necessities we’ve acquired we had to work diligently for, and that’s an honorable thing. Other good things have come to us by chance, fate, or good fortune. I like to call it grace.

Having all of our senses intact and all of our faculties in decent shape is a huge benefit. Most of us were taught to use our senses and faculties as kids. If I don’t miss my guess, most of us at a very young age wouldn’t have made the choices for ourselves that were made for us.┬áStructure, guidance, and discipline is a learned perspective.

I remember as a kid the bums, homeless, or what many were called back then; hobos. We lived in a town that had a railroad that ran through it. As we drove along the highway that paralleled the train track we could see the hobos riding in boxcars with their legs hanging over the opened tired old box car door openings.

Sometimes we’d wave to them and they would give a big ole’ over the head wave from their left side of their body to the right. My brothers, sister and I would always talk about where they might be going. I remember the look in my older brother’s eyes. They wanted to be on that train… If it weren’t for my parents I think there’s a good chance they would have hopped an eastbound freight.

When the homeless man was younger I’ll bet he enjoyed his free lifestyle. He can’t be enjoying it so much today, I think it’s around 110 degrees. Gotta take the good with the bad I guess.

The homeless man’s favorite song might have been Lobo’s, Me And You And A Dog Named Boo. The chorus goes on directly following the title, “travelin’ and a livin’ off the land.” — “Me and you and a dog named Boo, how I love bein’ a free man.”

The homeless man is certainly free, but living ain’t cheap and he doesn’t have more than a couple bucks worth of cans in his cart.

I’m not sure if the homeless guy would admit it, but my guess is he’d rather be in different circumstances than he is right now. I also think there’s a good chance if I get to learn the homeless man’s story, that he didn’t have much in the way of parental guidance, or if he did he was blatantly disobedient.

Someone probably didn’t explain to him that work isn’t a curse. Work was a blessing from God, His gift to Adam. The curse was doing that work by the sweat of his brow and the contention of weeds.

The homeless man knows that curse the hard way. He’s working for something, it might be food or alcohol, but he’s working for it… “By the sweat of his brow.”

I have to give the old homeless man some respect. He’s working… He might not even know it, but I think he could teach a lot to the younger people of this next generation. He’s not asking anyone for anything… He’s got too much pride… At times like these, I think that’s a refreshing thing. What do you think?