Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Everyone has a story

Charleston is two faced.

A history of the wealthy pouring their coins into brightly painted facades, merchandisers, and mansions lining the cobblestone streets. There is  a repertoire of “dandies” to be sought and your average tourist are here to look at it. Here is the prim and proper. the manicured ivy coiling along the wall… the BMW's parked in narrow streets sharing with the quaint horse and carriage. boasting,  pride, cultural richness the buildings themselves reflect the prep of the people within. Shoppers pour daily from esteemed shops and muse over the number of stars they’ve received in the local magazines (and by local, I mean certain sections of town).

but flip a coin. blink an eye.

There are shacks,  hidden along the main drive as to push our tourists towards “the good stuff”.  Aimless wanderers by the plenty squatted on street curbs. They, (the jobless, the homeless) live in the abandoned houses once owned by the upper class. .

I realize that it’s like this in any city. The two worlds of rich and poor. but perhaps it’s because we are in the south that it seems so surprising. we are culturally so behind. So stuck in the past. Two sides.

This is Bernard.


He has no job and no home. he spends his day looking for quarters so he can buy cigarettes and booze. he will sit on the porch of an abandoned house for most of the day with the community of others like himself.

Sometimes I catch myself thinking, oh there goes the Hobo herd, But there’s something wrong in my thinking.

I am not a compassionate person by nature, nor do I actively pity. Which is why a story is so crucial in my heart. I feel like stories are my way of making connections…getting back in touch with reality…comparing myself and being able to step in ones shoes. Listening to someone’s story will often break compassion back into to me. But what happens when you hear someone’s story and you judge with negativity? The humanity has been put back into their situation and still you have no pity. You see them as lazy and wretched.  You disagree with their choices and their lack of desire to do better.

At first thought, I thought of the hobo’s collectively, a collective nuisance. Go find work. Earn it instead of begging. I churn in anger for someone living at the expense of other. But something inside me darkens and I know that I am wrong. These are people. these are souls. I have  a hard time feeling sorry for someone who doesn’t try. but it’s  not for me to judge. I don’t know their story. I don’t know their heart. AND Even with their stories in hand,  it is not for me to judge. We are all like these men. Aimless, broken, and homeless. That’s why we need the love of Christ.

You are not a hobo, You are a person.


…and every person is a hobo…we weren’t meant for this world.

and when it really comes down to it, rich or poor. With a mansion or a hole in the wall. we’re still broken people. I’d venture to say that some of the richest people I’ve met are the most broken and some will never acknowledge it as they float through their pleasantries. Perspective wise this has helped me a great deal….so I thought I’d share my thoughts. I want God to change this mindset within me…to stop treating certain people like poison and remember that we are all in need of a Redeemer.

1 comment:

  1. THIS is what I'm passionate about. Thank you for sharing that above all adjectives, that man is a PERSON, equally desperate for what Christ offers us. I made homeless friends while living in Waco, TX. Most of whom had suffered injuries or had disabilities making it nearly impossible to find a job. It's so easy to cast people off as lazy, and while some do abuse the system, we can't realize how to respond until we know their story.


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