Lately, the weather is a bit harsh: it may lead to cold sores, dry skin and chills. People tend to wear thermals and a hoodie paired with mittens. After a day of shopping spree, coffee shops are packed with customers feeling the warm touch of the cup and the aroma of the drink combined with the sweet taste of donuts. Indeed, the season we are all waiting for has arrived: Christmas -- the time of giving and celebrations.
I was in a hurry to Surrey Central bus stops while sipping my favorite Starbucks Coffee. A young man crosses the street and catches my tired eyes. He has scratches in his face and a fresh wound on his right cheek; he looks scary at first. Wearing only a shirt, a pair of light blue jeans and red waterproof jacket, he asks me if I have some coins in the pocket. That was the time I knew he is a homeless young man… a boy walking in a cool, starless night. I said, “I’m sorry, this coffee is just a treat by a friend.” Then I went straight to the stop while glancing back at the poor guy. He was shivering.
I step on the bus, grab my fare card and sit near the rear door. Then the following facts crossed my mind: I have lots of coins in my pocket and purse, I am sipping a hot cup of coffee, and I am wearing a jacket, a hoodie and a shirt. It was a time my mind went back to that particular moment I saw the young guy, (I guess) same age as mine -- and the fact that I am more fortunate than him. Eventually, I was not able to stop something.
For 3 months and 8 days, I have received every single thing that I need in preparation for the winter -- mittens, hats/ear warmers, thermal pants & shirts, winter shoes and lots of stuffs. I sleep in my own room with a lamp shade, comfy spacious bed and a TV. I have 2 jobs providing adequate compensation, an amount that is enough for my expenses. I have an awesome shelter, a beautiful and safe one; it keeps my family warm and offers protection against the arctic weather and wind chills.
It is not the bus that I was not able to stop; it’s the flashbacks of fortunate events and memories of communion. And my tears began to shed. A work of destiny which is very unusual – a man crosses your course and changes your life (for more or less 10 seconds) – but certainly, an art of God waking us up for appreciating what we have.
I thank that guy for choosing me, talking to me. I felt really sorry for what I did, I was very guilty. I arrived at home sound and safe, feeling very privileged of what my family has… and what that homeless guy may not have.
Now, go to the mirror and check yourself: are you wearing decent clothes and feeling secured with your life? Roam your eyes into your room and ask yourself: Do I still need more? Am I very lucky to have this and that?
Not all people are lucky, and we shall be thankful for being one. Appreciate what we have -- shelter, clothing, food, warmth and safety -- and think of others who may not have, but only themselves.
His Western Haven