Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Man of Suffering

I was waiting for a light to change at a very dangerous and chaotic intersection when I saw him   - a young, unkempt and obviously homeless man way too young to be carrying such a burden. Despite the warmth of the day, he was wearing a winter coat that was on the verge of becoming filthy. His hair was a tad too long and a mess and the beard on his face revealed that his last shave was at least two weeks ago. He wasn't carrying anything. No bag, no suitcase. Nothing. He appeared to literally have nothing than the clothes on his back. 

I have encountered homeless men in this area before a bit like this young man but it's been a long time since I saw someone who struck so heartbreaking a pose.  His face said it all and yet it said nothing. It said: I have nothing. I am exhausted. I have nowhere to go and no one to care. I have reached rock bottom. What his face didn't say is what event or chain of events had brought him to this. 

I wanted to do something but it's not like I could pull the car over without risking a catastrophe. The young man was looking around but I could see he hadn't yet reached the point of desperation where no shred of pride remained.  He wasn't going to beg or ask for anything because he wasn't ready  to face rejection. So he continued walking, trudging along really, with that look of despair nearly unbearable to behold. 

When I got to Adoration I was still letting myself have it for not doing something. What the something would have been I don't know. Bleeding heart or not, I wasn't about to offer a man I don't know a lift or the use of my bathroom to clean up. I couldn't get him out of my mind and kept asking myself why I didn't do something. 

Then that voice that has so often illuminated my path simply said: Why don't you at least pray for him?

So that's what I did. 

I will go looking for him sometime in the next few days but I will go on foot and with someone. People like him have broken my heart before and The Lord has always given me a second chance and enabled me to find them.  

"There was in Him no stately bearing to make us look at Him, no appearance that would attract us to Him. He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity. One of those from whom men hide their faces spurned, and we held Him in no esteem." (Isaiah 52:2-3)

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