He was standing hunched over and alone, yet in a crowd. He was waiting for the signal to change. The city was bustling around him.
He puts his hood up against the cold even though it was unseasonably warm. His jacket was just a flimsy barrier between his thin body and the air’s cold chill. Shaking hands hitched the scarf over his mouth and nose.
I watched because, I had heard the whispering in my spirit. The Spirit had moved my spirit.
Be ready, it said.
So I watched. There he was. Alone and shivering.
The light changed, and courage mounted, as I lifted red mittens and reached out.
“Here are some mittens”
As reality seemed to freeze and instantly become a tragic comedy, he cried “NO, You people has AIDS!”
“But, here are some mittens…”
“NO, YOU PEOPLE HAS AIDS!!”
Terrified, he tried to back up in the middle of the busy intersection. I backed off and tried to finish crossing while he screamed and people stared as they scuttled by.
“You people has IV!”
There I was, a little white girl, country bumpkin, out of my element in the city. All I wanted was to obey my Father…and hug that shivering little man.
Love twisted in my heart along with shame. A shivering homeless man had rejected my mittens.
I wanted to run after him and convince him that all I wanted was to give him mittens and not AIDS. But it I knew it was futile.
I walked on…and he scurried off. Frightened by kindness.
I had scared that cold, thin man with the sad eyes and broken heart.
I run away from my Father like that sometimes.
I want to scream “You are going to hurt me! I will not take your gift.”
He wants me to trust him enough to take the gift…and I run away scared.
I reflect, somewhat confused, as I walk down the unfamiliar city street, and I think of that man. I pray he finds true Hope. I hope he finds The Gift.
And I pray that I am open to my Father’s gifts that he offers me. Without fear.
I was just offering red mittens.
HE offers Life