Wednesday, July 18, 2007

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The guy on the corner...

When I was in college, there was a guy who stood on a street corner near my house, rain or shine, asking for money. What I recall the most about him was the bright yellow rain suit he would wear and the consistency that he was on that corner. I never gave him a dime. I probably never once even him a smile. I remember thinking that- with that kind of dedication, he could have a real job. Knowing that he probably took home loads more than I was making at my $6/hour barista job, I'm sure I even gave him a sneer or two over the years. So, I will be honest in saying that I have been lacking in charity at times in my life.

There is something very powerful about asking. It is humbling. The guys that stand on the street corner are pitied- not because they need the help- but that they had the audacity to ask for it. It is an imposition. I am still unresolved about the guy in the yellow rain suit. I would like to think that begging on a street corner wouldn't be a career type position- that it would be a temporary thing- to get through a rough time. But the dedication and persistence of it certainly says something I suppose. At least he knows something that most of us will never learn, how to ask for help.