"My kidneys failed and now I'm broke living in my van. Even a penny helps. -thanks."

The words on this sign continue to echo in my head even a couple hours after reading it and driving past the gentleman with the hoodie and hat on to protect himself from the rain.
I've lived in the Seattle area, in Las Vegas and currently living in Boise. I've seen a lot of homeless signs and people. Some nicely dressed, some in rags, some on drugs and even some who may have needed medication, yet not one has impacted my day like this gentleman. I think part of it is because I've seen first hand the brokenness in our health care system and government. Another part of it is because I've felt convicted to help in a way I couldn't figure out until now. I could go on and talk about our broken health care system but that would only go so far. Instead I think I'll talk about my conviction.
Tomorrow I'm going to hopefully return to this man and bring him a hot meal and a rain jacket. I don't care about the cost, because really I have enough and he is clearly in need. Jesus was a light in the darkness, He helped the hungry, the prostitutes and so many more people we tend to stay away from.
Because He knew they needed the most love. He knew they needed hope. The unloved needed love and the hopeless needed hope so Jesus gave it to them. The man I saw tonight is asking for a penny, can you spare him your change? We've all come on hard times, unexpected expenses and death. Life is hard. My life isn't harder then yours and yours isn't harder then mine, it's all just HARD.
It's ironic, as I'm driving away the lyrics from Avicii's "Wake me up" started playing. Specifically,
"I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands"

Such a short excerpt from the song, but it was so powerful in my moment of conviction. I know I can't fix this man's life. I know it's impossible to do, but tomorrow I hope I can brighten his day and show him it's okay. I hope to be Jesus to Him. But my ultimate goal is to give him hope. I don't want to be another car driving past at the intersection, I want to turn around and show him love.

I think my goal for myself is to turn around more often. I know I can't do much, but I can keep $5 gift cards in my car and water bottles to pass out when I see someone in need. Maybe rather then looking for change in our 'system' I'll try to make a difference and BE the change. That's my goal for myself. Not for this year, but for always.

-ana O.

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