I have a place that I refer to as home, complete with running water, bathrooms, a kitchen, comfortable beds and lots of furniture, electricity, books, televisions; you know, the list goes on and on.
I have cars. Not just one, cars. Whenever I want to go somewhere, I go. Often, I fly.
I have plenty of clothing in closets--again, not just one. My sock drawer is running over, sort of like my closets. I did mention multiples, right? And shoes? Too many for one of my closets.
I've had lots of education--informal and formal, with degrees and future options for more.
I have a great family, lots of colleagues and crowds of friends.
I'm welcomed almost everywhere I go. I get lots of invitations to join folks for fun, interesting events.
People accommodate my needs, my mistakes, my selfishness and my expressed desires, almost all of the time.
When I mess things up, people pull around to compensate, to make up for the ground I've lost. Or, they confront me with my poor performance, while doing whatever it takes to get me back on track.
I am loved.
I am cared for.
I am encouraged.
Last Thursday, as I stood on the red hot sidewalk out at "the Corner," I watched scores of homeless friends stop by for a cold drink of water or Gatorade, a piece of fresh fruit and a snack.
One guy stood out.
He was not exceptional in any way, really. If anything, he was typical.
But, somehow I really saw him. Know what I mean?
My hunch is he is younger than me, maybe mid-50s, but he looked much older.
His shoes were broken down, run over and about shot.
He was barely limping along.
He was so very hot.
His brown jeans were filthy, as was his white shirt.
He seemed in a daze, not due to the abuse of any substance, but likely induced by too much "street" time in the heat.
I have no idea why he stood out to me.
As I directed him to a cold beverage and a snack, I was overcome with emotion.
My life circumstance flooded over me, as did what I imagined of his.
I had to brush back tears.
This is Dallas.
This is the street.
This is slow death.
This is injustice.
How I respond to that one man is the ultimate test of my faith, my life and my heart.