We’re not those creepy neighbors that keep track of what everyone’s doing but we also watch too many reruns of Criminal Minds. So…
Last weekend, we noticed a car pulled up on the street that runs next to our house. It’s a one-way street and the cars are always neighbors. It was running for a while and Cristy noticed that the front seat was laid back. The next night, he was back. I went back & forth, not knowing if we should call authorities or approach the car. I didn’t want to intrude but I also didn’t want to be murdered in my sleep. I’ve never seen a homeless man around here. Maybe he knows someone on our street?
On the third night, we were on our typical walk and I glanced in to the running car. He was old. He’s probably in his mid 70’s. He sat up a bit and I asked if he was okay. He said yes and thanked me for asking. He was covered in a sleeping bag and, from the look of the inside of the car, he clearly lives . right . there.
It broke my heart. How did he end up here – on my little street? Where is his family? He has a car. He pays for gasoline. Do they know he’s just parking somewhere at the end of every day? So far, he’s not here tonight. And somehow, that makes me feel worse.
Really, when did we stop taking care of each other? Really. I mean, who knows what his particular story is but I can’t imagine all the people I’d have to go through before I ended up living on a street. And the idea of my dad or my grandpa parked like that just makes me ache.
I have a friend who thinks the end of community compassion ended with the invention of the microwave. It sounds funny but she can explain it in a way that makes perfect sense. No one goes next door to borrow sugar any more. We hardly know our neighbors 2 houses down. Maybe this is two different subjects but right now, I just wish he’d come back so I could be a good neighbor.
What would you do? Would you take him tea? Would you try to talk to him – find out more? Could I be creating a larger problem? What if he could just use a friend?
I know what Jesus would do. What would you do?