This morning I woke up in a fog of dismay.
I found myself marinating in what seemed to be an omnipresent stew of disappointment in humanity.
My angst was justified as yesterday’s technological triumph of a spacecraft landing on a comet millons of miles away from Earth was overshadowed by the intellectual heft of Kim Kardashian showing her ass again (insert sarcasm).
Nowadays we treat each other as if we are inconsequential blobs of protoplasm and admittedly I often find myself culpable, much to my dismay.
A little less than a hour ago (at the time of this writing). I was sitting in my car waiting for my son and I noticed a woman standing in front of the Village Lofts near the Johns Hopkins campus in Baltimore, apparently she was invisible to everyone who walked past her. She saying something to the people walking by, but I was too far away to hear it.
Perhaps it was the spirit that moved me – to be better than my fellow human beings… I’m still not sure, but at that moment I felt compelled to do something, but I didn’t know what.
Walking past as if her presence was a nuisance wasn’t an option for me.
After I got out the car I stood there for a minute, locked in a staring match with the parking meter before I decided not to gamble with meter maids.
I turned around and locked my eyes on the figure in the black tweed coat with a matching hat and a hood pulled over her head to protect from the elements. I made a a beeline in her direction and asked her:
“Can I buy you something to eat?”
She looked up at me and I noticed that her eyes weren’t sad or inhibited with any intoxicating agent that I could discern.
“Could you get me a burrito in a bowl, no hots?” she asked uneasily. I assume that the smell wafting from the Chipotle made her decision an easy one.
I told her that I could.
“Can I walk in with you?” she asked.
“But of course!” I replied.
I slowed down and we walked in unison.
“My name is Sunshine” she said slowly.
“Hi Sunshine, I’m Shun, pleasure to meet you.”
When we walked in strangely enough there were only 2 people ahead of us in line – an unusual occurence as it typically an annoyingly long line stretching to the door at every Chipotle – divine intervention, I wondered?
Sunshine shared with me that she had been out there all day and that she couldn’t get into a shelter because she has Hepatitis C, her liver was swollen and she was told that the shelter couldn’t take on the liability in the event it ruptured while she was there.
She placed her order and I assured her that whatever she got was fine. By the time we got to the cashier, she asked me if I was getting anything and I told her I wasn’t.
She seemed surprised and I asked her if there was anything else I could do before I left.
She told me that she needed to get to the nearest Healthcare for the Homeless facility which was out in Rosedale, she said that they had the facilities in place to help her. I couldn’t make that drive as I waiting for my son and his friend, but I asked how much she would need to get there.
“$11 dollars sir,” she said and looked at the ground.
“No Sunshine, it’s Shun, take this $12 ok?”
At that moment, I saw something occur, her demeanor changed. She wasn’t that huddled figure in the jacket leaning against the wall that everyone was walking around, ignoring or looking through.
It was as if Sunshine was a totally different person that she was a mere 10 minutes ago.
“Shun, can I have a hug?” she asked.
“Of course you can Sunshine” and I leaned over to extend the very thing that many of us take for granted, a hug.
Acknowledgement that we exist, that we matter, that we aren’t invisible.
“God bless you Sunshine,” I said.
A smile crept over her face as she told me:
“I am blessed God sent me you.”
At that moment I felt consequential, the mere $20 that I would have spent on something else, got me an etheral return on my investment. Someone saw me as a vessel of divine intervention – that in itself is, priceless.
Sometimes the smallest thing can be “Food for the Soul”.
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