Saturday, December 22, 2007

no place to lay her head...

What was she supposed to do? She did not have a home.
Bring the word "homeless" up and many people respond with accusations followed with excuses. "If they are homeless they probably deserved it." "What am I supposed to do? If I give them money they will probably spend it on booze."

What was she supposed to do? She was mentally ill living in an era when our country doesn't feel obligated to take care of those who are mentally ill. We see people like her on the street and we: laugh, ignore, turn up our noses, become afraid...

What was she supposed to do? She was simply walking to the next place in life and got hit by a car. Guess what....seems homeless people hit by vehicles are expendable. Seems not many people care. So she was rushed off to the county hospital and basically left to die. Her head had been busted open and they didn't even bandage her up. My wife went to see her. They had shaved her head, cleaned her up.....but her brains were literally left to ooze out. What was my wife supposed to do?

What was she supposed to do? She did not have a place to lay her head.

For five years we let her use our church address as her permanent address. She would come in once a month or so. Sometimes she wanted a room in a motel none of us would be caught dead in. Other times she just came in to get her mail or to sit and rest. Almost always she was pleasant, sweet, smiled, and laughed at our quirks. I saw her two days before her death. She smiled and laughed at me and thanked me for paying for her room. Only thing, she paid for her own room. She regularly gave an offering to the church, not pennies or dimes, but twenty dollars or fifty dollars. She received a little bit of money from a social security check. She was more faithful in her giving than some of the people who are members of the church.

Many times we would roll our eyes and shrug our shoulders trying to pass her off on each other when she came into the church office. "You take care of her this time." Funny thing, the one who took care of her was usually the one blessed that day.

My wife was the one who was called by the hospital chaplain. She was the one with courage and compassion to drive there and visit. Our dear friend died. The doctors thanked my wife. They said, "We are trying to make this more humane. You made it so by simply coming down here in person."

What was she supposed to do?
She had no place to lay her head.
When she finally did....it was too late.

5 comments:

shawn said...

As the good book says - "sometimes we entertain angels unaware ..."

Your words remind me of the Celtic blessing that we may see the face of Christ in the face of everyone we meet, and may they see the face of Christ in us ... sometimes friends like you've spoken of remind us to live our faith by remembering the warning - "just as you did it for one of the least of these ... you've done it for me."

Tis season of miracles. Perhaps it's worth pausing to consider that maybe, just maybe, this friend was simply an incarnation of Christ present and real ... Christ coming to remind us to simply LIVE our faith ... to put our majestic words into action.

Thanks for sharing this ... these are words I needed to read today ...

Blessings of the season on you and all of you family!!!

MY OWN WOMAN... said...

I am humbled.

Working the ER I have seen many a person come in on a cold night with vague complaints just for a warm place to rest their heads and a cold sandwich and cookies delivered in a styrofoam box to fill the emptiness in their stomach.

I've heard the comments, I've seen the looks. Please Lord, don't allow those comments come from my mouth or those looks from my eyes.

SeaSpray said...

Didn't Jesus say that when we help even the least of people we are helping him. As I was reading about her I had an image of Christ being her.

That must've been difficult for her to do. I am sure the woman knew in some way that she was there.

This was very moving. Thank you for sharing it. it reminds me of someone I should be helping.

SeaSpray said...

I meant that it must've been difficult for your wife to do.

PT Pastor said...

Hope you put this in your newsletter. On the Cover.