I admit I was quite hurried when I saw you sitting on a bench in front of the downtown library, holding a crushed, bent-open book in both your hands while you read aloud to yourself. As I slowly pulled my car to the curb in front of you, I could see you were trembling.
I approached you selfishly, wanting to "get rid of" more of the "homeless bags" in my car by giving you more than one, so I wouldn't have to stop so many times. I rolled down the passenger's side window and asked timidly, "Excuse me, do you need some food?" You answered, "Yes," and hurried over to the curb. I handed you a bag and asked if you had anyone else you wanted to give a second bag to. You shook your head and answered very definitely, "No."
I asked your name, and you told me it was Ramona. I admit I probably wouldn't have thought to ask you that simple, seemingly obvious question if it hadn't been for my friend Kyle who talks with homeless folks much more often than I, and she told me it was a good thing to do. She said you probably don't get asked your name very often.
I hope when you found this note in your bag that it meant something to you, that it made you smile.
When I passed by the downtown library again a few days ago, you weren't there. I'm not sure if we'll meet again, but I hope through our very short encounter and hopefully future ones, God teaches me what it's like to be humble. Because right now, the truth is I'm just thankful my life isn't sitting on park benches in front of libraries alone.
Whether you know it or not, Ramona, you are made in the image of God, and you are precious. There is hope for both of us. And that is something that draws us together.