Monday, October 13, 2008
In Memory of......
It could be anyone.....but yesterday morning and this morning it was simply a homeless man.
An article in the LA Times reported on a homeless man cared for by the working neighbors of the street he called home was torched to death by cruel men.
Usually I don't read articles like this simply because I know where my heart will go and I will have to try to explain away the tears to my kids sitting next to me at the table.
But I read it anyway....and my heart was broken for this man. A man who lived on the sidewalk, yet never asked for handouts and seemingly respected those around him. The business owners on the street where he lived talked about his kindness and how he became almost like family not only to them, but to their regular customers as well.
Then this morning, the man was identified by his family. A family that truly loved him and tried countless times to help him get off the streets. A family that wasn't ashamed to bring their children to visit uncle Johnny on many occasions. A family that made sure he had money and clothes and batteries for his radio. A family that saw him as a boy who loved comic books and ran around with a towel as his cape.
This was a man.....a human being.
And my heartbreaks simply because I know others simply didn't see him that way. That's obvious by the horrific way he died. Some may say he must have been doing drugs, or he was an alcoholic or that he choose to simply live that way.
But I have learned that most people don't choose to live that way......
There was a song we sang in church yesterday and one of the lines was...
"everyone needs compassion......everyone needs forgiveness"
So today my prayer is not only to celebrate the man that was killed and pray for peace for his family, but also for the men that did it. May grace and compassion fall on them in such a way it changes it their lives.