My New Friend

Kimberism: Gifts come in big packages, small packages and sometimes marred human packages. When I first saw Steve I did what many do in a city where there are many homeless, I just kept walking. Then I followed my sister’s example and stocked my glove compartment with crackers for stop-light-pan-handlers. However, I've abandoned this tactic after crackers were thrown back at me from an ungrateful man!

Like many I have swung between wanting to ignore the onslaught of humanity right in my face, and wanting to rescue every homeless person I've seen. However, I made the choice to push past the boundary of my comfort zone by taking steps to befriend the homeless I see regularly in my neighborhood, hence Steve.

Steve is a 67 year old man who walks with a limp and wears a straw cowboy hat. He obviously hasn't bathed for sometime, nor washed his clothes. However, I've found that I care about this sweet man who now calls me by my name and beams with warmth and charm. After Steve went missing I told my family of my concern and was relieved when he showed up in his usual spot explaining that he had been sick.

Once Steve offered me some of the crackers a nice lady had given him and as we chatted I learned that he lost his dad five years ago, but has siblings in his home town. He told me that he sleeps in a location far away and I’m not sure how he manages to get there each night with a limp.

Oddly, every time I see Steve he asks, “Can I get you anything” as if he’d pull up to his refrigerator and grab a tray of appetizers! I've laughed thinking, “What is he going to give me?” However, I've discovered that Steve has given me a special gift He's expanded my world and my heart, by helping me move past my fears and beyond detached charitable gifts for someone I've never met.

Steve has helped me see God through a dirty homeless man who has nothing, yet is kinder than many people bursting with possessions and yet are completely empty. I would say he has given me quite a lot. Thank you Steve!

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