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?


3 comments on “WW”YOU”DO?

  1. Jesus was a man. and Jesus could walk on water and then turn it into wine. I love that man 🙂
    but you are just a girl with a sweet little 2 year old….a 2 year old who could be used very easily as a pawn to take advantage of you. (yes, I too am a criminal minds whore) DO NOT make friends with him. I’m glad that he’s gone. I hope that he finds his way in this life. I hope that he stays warm and continues to have gas money.

    I would LOVE to hear the microwave story. I also think that we have no community compassion. More and more, people are all about mine mine mine.

    I on the other hand am completely blessed with a GREAT neighborhood full of wonderful people who do still borrow sugar…look out for each others kids and houses….and who collect to sit on a porch and visit while the kids run the streets.
    I’m livin the dream baby!

  2. Stacy says:

    I ADORE Criminal Minds, even though it often gives me cold sweats. It also makes me think more about the crazy crap that’s out there in the world. And now that I have two children, I’m a bit of a freak about safety. I would probably NOT approach the man in the car, and like KJ, I’m relieved that he’s gone from your neighborhood. The “what ifs” are what plague me, even though he may be a very nice, and just lost, person.

    And then I read the article I posted about on my blog… And my head is filled with things that I don’t want to think about. And even more so, I’m glad your car guy is gone.

    Keep safe, sister.

  3. authenticollision says:

    It is a delicate balance, to be sure. Ultimately I would rather err on the side of compassion and charity than not, even though it’s all too easy in these hyper-media days to lean toward suspicion and aversion. That’s not to say I would be inviting him in for dinner but I would probably say Hello if I saw him again. Maybe ask if he needs anything – or just bring him a snack or something. I doubt he’ll stick around long because even if it is legal, which it may not be, he probably moves around often so he doesn’t attract too much attention.

    All that’s pretty easy for me to say of course; he’s not parked outside of MY house.

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