like a permanent fixture in the building i work in, i walk by him and his tattered paper cup every day after work. i should know, i dropped a twonie in it once. just once. but i make a point of making eye contact and acknowledging him every other time.
i found myself looking for him yesterday, though, because as odd as this may sound, he was the first person i thought about when i woke up that morning. soon after waking up, my eyes were drawn to the money i have sitting on my dresser in a jar labeled 'giving', and seconds later, i felt a very specific amount impressed on my heart, and just as quickly tucked that amount into my coat pocket.
truth be told, i felt nervous about giving it to him all day. i knew i had to, but how? do i just non-chalantly walk up to him and put the money in his cup without saying anything? or do i say something spiritual like "God bless you", seeing as how He was the one that laid this man on my heart in the first place?
here goes nothing, i thought. i walk up to him after work, put the money in his cup, and before i know it, i'm telling him that he was the first thing i thought of when i woke up in the morning. [somehow it didn't seem as awkward or creepy as it does now lol]. we talked long enough to exchange names, long enough for me to find out that he has a brother named paul, and long enough for me to notice that his cup, with the exception of two measly dimes, was completely empty. like empty. a cup that gets passed by 72 floors worth of people each day had two - two! - dimes in it. as in twenty cents. as in not enough to buy a stinkin gumball.
now, before you get your panties all up in a knot, i am not here to judge the passerbys; if you remember correctly, i started this blog off by emphasizing the fact that prior to this morning, i had only given this man money on one occasion. one. so i understand why some people just walk on by.
what baffles me, though, if i'm being honest, is the fact that a lot of people think that this man, this human being, is only worth the twenty cents that sat at the bottom of his cup. having worked in three different inner-cities [vancouver, edmonton and toronto], i'm aware of [most of] the preconceived ideas that are floating around about people who struggle with homelessness, and about poverty, period, and want nothing more than to 'destroy' those ideas, or at the very least, challenge your - our - thinking.
that being said, i plan on blogging about such topics over the next little while, so stay tuned for ... well, my two cents.