What is Faith?

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Silence is Not Always Golden

These were his instructions to them: "The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. ~ Luke 10:2

As I am sitting in Denny's writing this blog there is a woman entering the restaurant. She enters at the same time each night. She is a slim petite woman but you'd never know it. She wears 4 coats, two sweaters and a few different blouses. She has two pairs of sweatpants, 2 dresses and a pair of jeans. A wool scarf is wrapped around her head, a baseball cap on top of that. Calloused hands push the shopping cart that carries all her worldly belongings.

She walks past the four filled tables including ours. The staff knows she is there. They look the other way as she makes her way to the restroom. It is there I find her constructing a makeshift shower of bottles filled with water, a dirty towel and a half inch piece of soap.

She looks up and sees me. Quickly she gathers her items. I tell her she needn't leave. She stops. She looks at me, opens the door and looks around. She signals for me to use the restroom. She will stand guard. I do what I came to do and as I come out of the stall, she is holding a Styrofoam package with the label Denny's on it. Room service has arrived. It arrives nightly.

I leave and go back to my table. She passes a few minutes later smelling of Irish Spring, carrying her still hot dinner. No one acknowledges her but everyone knows she is leaving. I smile at her but she doesn't see. She looks at no one. I will be back tomorrow evening. I hope she will too.

On thing I don't understand is why more people don't "look the other way" and help. I call them 'Silent Samaritans'. They people that do what is right without anyone knowing they are doing such as the staff at Denny's. They could have asked her to leave. They could ask her that each night, but they don't. She sleeps in the bushes outside the restaurant and although they never asked her name, they are still doing what little they can. Maybe no one else noticed this, but I did and I applaud them. I give them a standing ovation.

The Carrows across the street is collecting ties. Bring in a tie for the homeless Veterans that are trying to look for work and you get a free piece of pie. It isn't much and it may sound silly to you, but it's not silly to the men who receive the ties.

There is a small cafe in Mount Shasta, California that serves hot coffee and freshly baked bread to the homeless that grace their doors. There is never a charge. In fact, there is a table reserved just for them. Not one hiding in the back, but one right in the front window.

A truck stop outside of Sacramento opens its doors to the homeless between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. each and every night. They are charged a dollar for a cup of coffee and a couple of eggs. If they don't have it, they get to eat anyway.

There is a homeless shelter in Eugene, Oregon where the homeless themselves delivers meals to families that can't afford to buy enough groceries for the month. It makes them feel good that they can do for someone else.
There is a church in Hillsboro, Oregon that opens its doors to the last, the lost and the least each and every week. No strings attached, just show up and "let us love on you." That's their motto.

What I want to know is why aren't more people being "Silent Samaritans?" Why can't more people "love on" the last, the lost and the least.

I am a Christian. But homelessness doesn't care what religion you are. It doesn't care what color you are. It does care whether or not you help. So, it shouldn't matter if you are Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Atheist.
You help because it's the right thing to do.

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