I see a guy homeless in Leeds, I stop smile ask him if he would like a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows. He smiles and nods attentively. I say,”fancy a beef burger with cheese n onions?” His smile broadens “yes please”he replied. I ask “Hp or ketchup?” “Ketchup please” “thank you very much “ he added. I pass over his cheese burger and hot steaming drink and notice tears gently falling down his cheek. “Oh what’s up?”, I ask..”nothing you’re just so kind.” “Hey you’re loved “, I say. “Sure you’d feed me if it was the other way around “. We exchanged names. Stuart is his name. I ask how long he’s been homeless, as I sit on the pavement besides him. “3years.”” How did you end up homeless,” I ask. Stuart went on to pour his heart out to me. He said he held a job down for twenty years, one evening, he kissed his wife and headed of out to do a night shift ( little did he know his life was never going to be the same again) whilst he was at work his wife fell down the stairs and ended up in a coma. When Stuart got home the next morning, he struggled to open the front door as her body was behind it. Stuart found his wife dead. He then slipped into depression as life as he knew it was no more. He ended up losing his job, getting behind with the rent consequently ended up with Stuart homeless. As he told me I could see the heartbreak in his eyes and etched in his face. I held back tears as my eyes studied his hands, swollen, dirty, cut, blistered from the elements. Then they glimpsed at his feet, what looks like green puss stuck to his black socks. The smell that came from him was unpleasant to say the least. Stuart shared that he ended up losing custody to social services, his three children. I asked how old are his children now, 18,16,14… as he reminisced about them his eyes glistened and a smile broke out. We chatted for about another ten minutes, Stuart said,”look at the people just walking by, sometimes they look down on me. But they shouldn’t judge. Don’t judge anyone,” he said. He said how he doesn’t smoke, drink or take drugs, just has a 💔 Brocken heart. Then Stuart shared how his favourite bit in the Bible is where it says whoever hasn’t sinned throw the first stone. I said yep we have all sinned. Stuart commented that in life there’s tests and we can easily fail them if we don’t open our eyes and look out for them. I left Stuart a hat, two scarves and a sleeping bag. He was so grateful. Tears streaming we said our goodbyes. We hugged exchanged smiles and I went on my way.
I’m so grateful to have a home, family and friends. I’m blessed beyond measure, my cup runs over. If you pass someone who looks homeless or in need, smile they are just human like you n i. They have feelings. They were probably once like you n I, but life happened and they had a bad break. Let’s be kinder than we need to be as everyone is fighting their own battle.
This is an excerpt from a book I’m currently writing called, ‘By The Grace of God’
It’s about different life situations and people I have felt myself around. I’m hoping it helps people, encourages and changes some people’s life direction, brings hope and points people to Jesus.