Some of you may or may not know that I am a licensed paralegal, and a manager of operations at a legal firm. As I arrived to work on Monday morning, I saw the belongings of a homeless person scattered within a little nook close to our back staircase, by the parking lot. This person had laid their head there overnight.
Now, I first mentioned what I do because I take my role seriously, and take care of this business as if it were my own. I told the managing director that I would call the city to come and clean up the mess, and if they didn’t come soon then I would do it myself. I told him that, first I’d like to give this person some time to come back and collect their belongings. Perhaps they went to the local shelter to get something to eat and was making their way back soon.
The next morning, when I arrived to work, I noticed that the items were still there and seemed to be further scattered on our driveway. I knew that I had to clean it up as it was an absolute eyesore. The city clean-up crew were taking too long. I put on my gloves, got some garbage bags and a “picker upper” apparatus, and began to put the items in the garbage bag, scorning them and feeling a bit frustrated that I had to do this. I carefully searched for drug paraphernalia, to be sure I didn’t accidentally get stuck with something.
I did not see any evidence of drug use, but what I did see still has me feeling overwhelmed. I saw the life of not only one in individual – possibly a mother, and the evidence that there also may have been a child. There were baby blankets, plastic bags, a tent type material for shelter, baby gloves, and some adult and children’s clothing.
And then there was a Bible!!!!
This stopped me dead in my tracks. Were my eyes deceiving me? I’m a tough cookie, but I am also extremely sentimental, and can be an emotional mess especially when it comes to the reality of the psychological and physical pain of others. I took a moment to pray for this person. I prayed for my own wisdom and discernment to understand if this was a message to me from God.
From all accounts, this appeared to be mother and a child who had nowhere to go that night. A mother who just wanted to make sure that her child stayed warm throughout the night. A mother who, regardless of her circumstances still had faith, and had the wherewithal to keep hold of a Bible, and of her faith, and pray to God for his infinite mercy.
This could be anyone of us. I put myself in her shoes for a moment and thought of what I would do with a child and nowhere to go. Did Covid to do this to her? Did our government fail her? Was she in an abusive relationship and feared she had no alternative but to leave? Has she always been a woman of faith? Did she only turn to God because of her current situation? So many thoughts and questions ran through my mind
I got myself together and completed the process of putting her belongings in the garbage bag. I left it in the place that she had left her items in hopes that she would return to collect them. To collect her little baby’s blankets and gloves, and her Bible.
Lesson learned today… that despite your dreadful circumstances, keep faith and always keep God in the forefront. Somehow, someway He will see you through it. We truly don’t know what one’s past or present circumstances are, or what causes them to do what they do. Let us not judge. Let us help and love our neighbours
I pray that this woman and child are safe, and mom continues to hold onto her faith
And I pray that she returns even if it is just to collect her Bible because I left it on top of the bag for her
Natalie Wilson June 2021