Thursday, January 16, 2014
the homeless man's quilt...
The weather in Georgia this winter has been very uninviting.If it is mild, then the rain is lashing the windows or misting the limbs of the maples.If the sun is shining, it is bitter cold as it is today.Even the turkeys are shifting from foot to foot to keep one leg warm in their feathers.A lone blackbird is trying to sip water from around an island of ice in the birdbath.I have put away my red and beige Welcome Winter pillow.How did I ever live in New York?
One month from now, my daffodils will be in full bud waiting for just one warm day to open to shouts of joy from the birds and me.Going outside usually stirs some thoughts that find their way to this blog so what to do?I guess not having anything to write about cannot compare with freezing on a heat grate in Atlanta.Which brings me to this story that I hope will move someone to consider the homeless.
Several years ago,I was perched on my sunny bench in the woods on a day in February.As I quietly sat, I was given something like this to my understanding:"Sharon, you have two quilts inside;why not take one to a homeless person."What?How am I going to do that?Coward that I am,I left the bench hoping to avoid any further discussion But,by the time I reached the house,I knew ,just knew ,that this time I had to be obedient.The next day,after leaving for work in north Atlanta,I got off the freeway in mid-town and drove around.Muttering.
Soon on a side street,I saw several men leaving a basement church door and heading for the street.One lone man, older,African-American, and bearded headed towards my car.I rolled down the window and asked him if he slept outside.Strange question.He nodded his head and I handed him the quilt.He gave me a lovely ,grateful smile and blessed me as I drove away.
I don't want to make too much of what happened next ,but that night I watched a movie and all I recall is that it had a homeless man in it, he looked like my new friend and there was a quilt on a bed.I swear.And that's all I remember..
When I drive through downtown now, I still think of that man and the quilt that I had prayed would give him warmth and perhaps hope.Did he sell it for cigarettes?Did he give it to someone who needed it more ?I would love to know the story of that quilt ,where it is now and who has had it."Lord,whoever has that quilt now,may they be blessed this cold, cold day."