The least of these

Last week I was on the subway and there was an obviously homeless man sprawled out sleeping on the seats across from me.  He was very disheveled, dirty and his hair was all over the place, like it hadn’t been cut or groomed since who knows when.  Being the people watcher that I am I found this man fascinating.  Every now and then he would half awake and mimic in a high pitched voice the subway conductor who would warn, “Stay clear of the closing doors” between each stop.  I couldn’t stop staring at him all the while thinking of what Jesus taught that what we do to the least of them, we also do for him.  I will admit the homeless man scared me.  I was afraid he would catch me staring at him when he opened his eyes now and then.  I kept thinking, “Was I supposed to do something” for him as a Christian?  Where’s the rule book?  I didn’t  do anything except stare and watch him wondering about his life.  He wasn’t asking for money or food, he was merely sleeping on the crowded subway.  Was he ok with being homeless, was he mentally ill?  The thought that he may be mentally ill made me sad. This man was somebody’s son maybe brother.

I’m not proud that I was afraid of him.  But the whole subway ride I kept thinking of Jesus and what He would have done which was a heck of a lot more than I did.  I was wondering because I call myself a Christian am I really talking the talk and walking the walk?  I don’t believe it would have been a safe thing to do, to approach this man alone as a woman, but it make me think more about Jesus and what He would have done.

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