Thursday, June 23, 2016

Seeing Jesus in the Homeless

Wednesday after work (6/21/2016) I had a routine appointment located at a medical clinic on Maple Avenue in Everett. Approaching the driveway, I noticed a man who I presumed was homeless, rustling about in his tattered blanket on the sidewalk. I went inside the building to the 2nd floor locating a window to see if the person was still there. I did not see him in that same place.  I wondered where he went. 

I caught a glimpse of him heading toward my car to leave.  He somehow crossed the street.  Maple isn’t the busiest Avenue in Everett, but it is a main route heading to Highway 2. It is dangerous.  I carefully crossed the street feeling compelled to check on him.

I took him by the hand and he grasped my hand tightly.  He was obviously intoxicated. The beer can alongside was evidence of that.  I asked the man for his name; Gerry he said as he began to cry.  I  asked if he wanted help – although I wasn’t altogether sure what help I could offer Gerry.  I asked him if we could pray and he said yes.  He prayed aloud over my prayers for him, asking the Blessed Trinity to be present at this moment in Gerry’s life and to give me the courage and strength to stay with him until help arrived. 

Gerry related to me he wanted to either “get clean and sober” or wrap up under the bridge and die; he wanted to check out. I told him he was not going to die at least not today.  I would stay with him until we found help even if that help was temporary.  Crying, wanting help, Gerry had had enough. I'd imagine Gerry is somewhere between 60 and 65.  He had no teeth, appearing to look older. He was dressed mostly dark or black clothes with a navy blue jacket. Barely understandable, Gerry said he had no family when I asked; he didn’t trust anyone. Someone molested him at gunpoint the night before - pointing toward the bridge a hundred yards away.

I stayed with Gerry and called 911. It took two calls before the officer arrived.  On scene, the policeman began a series of triage questions to determine Gerry’s general condition.  The officer asked: if I give you a quarter and a dime, how much money is that?  Gerry answered, thirty-five cents.  I left after that.  Gerry was now in good hands, at least for now.  I must trust God through the professional assistance of the attending officer. P.S. Gerry is not his real name. Please keep him in your prayers.






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