For several months now, I have taken notice to a gentleman who would sleep on the bus bench, and I would notice him regularly on my way home to work, or on my way home. You couldn't miss him because of his red jacket. He would sleep sitting upright with it over his head on the bench, or on top of a building exhaust vent to keep warm I assume during the middle of the evenings.
Whenever I would walk by him, I would leave a tract and whatever snacks I was carrying at the time while he slept. It's my tooth-fairy method of giving... I often pray they wake to see gifts and imagine perhaps the LORD sent an angel to deliver some hope and encouragement just in time for them.
Lately this man began camping out in front of my local CVS, his cardboard box off to the side in a lit area, which I imagine feels safe for him yet still securely hidden. A couple weeks ago I saw him sleeping there again with his cardboard sign propped up- "I NEED HELP". The plea echoing hopelessness and desperation, my heart shattered in grief for him. But even sobbing I was grateful for having a Bible on hand, a local homeless resource list, a couple dollars and a box of cereal bars to leave him. I prayed everything would still be right there when he woke up and he would be encouraged.
Then today- I FINALLY got a chance to introduce myself to him! He was sitting there outside the CVS again and I just happened to have an extra candy bar in hand for him. But my selfish curiosity of what he did with the Bible led me to blow my angel giving cover. (How inconsiderate of me to mention it, to ask if he reads it, to satisfy my own selfish curiosity!) So his name is Brent and he remembered my Bible and everything I left that night... except he left the Bible in his sister's car when she came to visit him from a nearby town. (Well, I can tell you truly, knowing he has a sister not far away, made me feel less hopeless for him altogether.) At least now, he knows who I am... and he has a friend who will share a smile and hello when I see him around. I didn't get to talk to him much but maybe one day, we will get Brent's whole story.
Prayers for Brent!