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Homeless In The Winter
On the Way to the Train
We had just experienced the second snow storm in two days when I was on my way to work today. As I was approaching the glass doors to go downstairs to the track to board my train, out of the corner of my eye I saw an image of what looked to be a person sitting on the cold metal train seat.
Homeless in the Train Station
Stopped in My Tracks
I actually stopped in my tracks as I had to clarify in my mind of what my eye had simply caught a glimpse of!
On closer inspection, yes, I actually walked over to see what was going on, it was a woman who had covered her head and shoulders -- to shield her from the blaring lights above -- with a grey and white , nylon waist-length jacket.
She was nodding forward and had an additional solid grey nylon jacket covering her lower body that was already covered with layers of long, woolen skirts. There laid her possessions on both sides of her. A pull-on suitcase at her feet that seem to contain items that were important to her.
Couple in Station
What Do You Say?
Are People Homeless by Choice?
The somewhat strange thing about this scene that played out in only a few minutes, had me quickly reflecting on how easily it could have been me, my family, or a loved one at this joyous season of Christmas.
Thoughts flooded my mind of what could be done, what should be done, and why, why, why? I wanted to reach out to her but it seemed that she would appreciate the simple moments of rest that she seemed like she was able to get.
I decided to take the elevator down stairs as I realized that the train that I had come to the station on was "cold," the walk across the street was a freezing moment, and here, in the station, the rushing commuters were complaining that it was cold.
New York Officer Aids Homeless
I knew I had not been the only commuter to see her plight and I wonder what they thought about her situation. I noticed some of the faces, some had disdain, some pity, and some quickly looked away as to not have the image of the homeless woman sear their conscious.
Even after the hour commute to my employment, I could not forget the woman at the station. I had not written an article, in this forum, for months but I knew I needed to put these thoughts to pen.
Do What You Can Do
I resigned myself to do what I can do within the means that I have available. To be more mindful of those that don't have a roof over their head, a place to sleep, a place to call home.
I became more thankful for all the wonderful and diligent shelters, churches, and ministries that take out the take to feed the homeless at the stations and other places that they congregate to get warm.
Almost any day you can find them sitting in the bathroom stalls trying to get rest, sleep, or cleaning up. You can hear the attendants knocking on the doors of the stalls and warning them that they must vacate or they will bring in the police that are patrolling the station.
Finally, I thought about my family. I thought about all of our financial struggles to keep food on the table and a roof over our head. A struggle that, at times, we seem to be losing. Knowing that giving in is not an option, we pursue avenues of better decisions and cutting out things like the movies, dinners out, trendy clothes, and new televisions to stay afloat.
I learned today to be even thankful for the struggle.
As Christmas fastly approaches, the thought of Christ's passion for people has sparked a fire in my soul. So, I ask Him for wisdom and courage to do the right thing...whatever that is Beloved!