There was a news story in my town this week of a elderly homeless man who was found dead. He had died of heart failure from the extreme cold overnight. All in all very sad. I’m sure it happens all too frequently. What made it a news story though was the fact that this man had on him thousands of dollars worth of cash. Apparently it was enough to have brought him a roof over his head of some sort.
When I read this my overactive imagination went into top gear…..what made him homeless? Why was he not with family or friends or in some kind of shelter? Surely he knew he was weak and frail and should not be exposed to the elements….Why would someone have money but not use it for one of life’s basic necessities?
Maybe he had an addiction of sorts that kept him from loved ones. Maybe he couldn’t forgive himself of some action, so this was his way of punishing himself. Maybe it all came down to pride. Thinking he could look after himself when really he couldn’t.
Pride. Not reaching out for help when one can.
Yesterday I tried to give a neighbor family a bag of shoes and clothes that The Hurricane has grown out of. Decent items- not stained and stretched…lots of good wear left in them. The neighbor family has three boys altogether, two of them smaller than The Hurricane. The other day the middle boy was outside playing in his pyjamas, that barely covered his knees. And note he is not old enough to be wearing his pyjamas as a statement of his independence and own sense of fashion! There are seven people in that household living in a two bedroom house. The oldest boy sleeps in his parent’s walk in closet, so he tells us.
The Grandmother opened the door to me and said ‘No thanks’. Didn’t even look at the bag of clothes, just a no thanks. Me, being the stubborn woman I am left the bag at the door anyway, hoping they would change their minds. This morning the bag was at my door.
Perhaps there are certain rules in their religion that prevent them from accepting gestures like this. Perhaps it is purely and simply a cultural thing. Perhaps it was pride.
Pride. Not accepting help when one can or should.
My prayer today is that I never become so independent that I don’t seek help from others when I need it, or when it is offered. My prayer is that I be a gracious receiver of gifts.
I don’t ever want to be too proud for anything or about anything.