"God is a giver, and you are the recipient of every promise Jesus came to fulfill. He bridged the gap between you and God’s blessings—and they are more than you can imagine. May your steps take you in the direction of every good thing He has for you."
last night i spent 13 hours in a cardboard box. sitting, trying to keep warm, watching people walk past; some gave a few bucks, some pretended like i was invisible. i got a sack meal from a Salvation Army truck for dinner. they usually only come monday, tuesday and thursday though. when it started to rain i pulled my box underneath the awning of a restaurant. at least i had a sleeping bag. i smashed some grocery bags together to try to make a pillow but it did nothing to rest my head. i tried to fall asleep but the car horns, police cars and ambulance sirens at the intersection we were stationed at were so noisy. around 2:00 the bars let out and a few rude remarks woke me up in my box. drunk people were flopping around everywhere, some donated their leftover change though. i don’t think i kept asleep for more than 20 minutes at a time; my feet were icicles and my neck ached. the hard cement ground was cold and uncomfortable. the rain never stopped. the wind’s high speeds rattled throughout the night. at 6:00am i woke up, collected my few belongings, and left before the town started its day.
i participated in a fundraiser. i got to go home in the morning.
most homeless don’t even know where home would be.
as soon as i got in my bed this morning at 7:00 to actually get some sleep, i knew i’d never crawl into bed the same again. it was a dream waking up and not wanting to get out of my covers, whereas the night before every time i woke up i wished it was morning so i could finally get out of that box.
a lot of people thought we were crazy for sleeping outside on a cold, raining winter night. the local news and newspapers interviewed us. why go through it? why not just donate the money and be done with it?
one of the other participants in this fundraiser to relieve homelessness in my town explained to his children what we did last night as this:
"there are a lot of people in this town who are invisible to us. we don’t see them because they sleep somewhere different every night and disappear during the day. we ignore them. what these people are doing out here tonight are making those other people visible.”
we know they exist, we see them on the streets sometimes. i know i’ve passed so many and denied them anything. avoid eye contact, give a smile and a prayer as i pass is all i usually do. but after last night…now i know what they feel like. i can identify with them, even in the smallest sense.
i was humbled. i don’t know what i’ll do the next time i pass a homeless person, but i know i won’t feel the same.
my favorite part last night was when a man with long hair and a long beard rode up to us on his old bike and dropped a 5 in my bag. he thanked us for what were doing said we had nicer boxes than he ever had. then he rode away.