in the pit of my stomach…

February 9, 2011

compassion girl

I’ve met, talked, shared food and money to a lot of homeless people in my time. I know there are services, I know the issues are complex, I know it can be dangerous, I know, I know, I know. But there is something about a moment of human connection, not rescue or performing a good deed, but an exchange of humanity. Both people giving to each other…

The kids and I met a homeless family tonight. A mom, a dad and their two little boys. I’ve seen them walking in my neighborhood quite a bit, I had a feeling but was hoping they were just without a car. It was pretty cold and dark tonight when we saw them walking along the road, the little boy held his dad’s hand, the baby on her back with three layers of clothes on.

Of all the people I’ve bought meals for, given money or exchanged stories with over the years, I’ve never had quite this feeling in the pit of my stomach, this lump in my throat. They were kind and positive, didn’t ask for anything, the children looked like my kids, like your kids…We talked for a minute and I handed her enough to get a hotel room tonight but they still had a half hour walk ahead of them. I drove away and cried, knowing that everyone has to find their own way, whatever is before them and I believe they will…but some days, it looks so big, so hard, so real, so heavy.

And for tonight anyway, we will both hold our babies and watch them sleep…in the warmth of each other and a bed.

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