Crying “Nobody cares”

Crying “Nobody cares”

I have talked with Gary three times in the park where he sleeps. He is always upset and anxious. He does not have a phone and is unable to talk with his kid. Everyone steals his stuff. He is frustrated about his stolen art supplies. He stays with the group that steals from him because it is safer than being alone on the street. He became homeless after he lost his job taking care of his terminally ill mother. With tears in his eyes Gary laments, “Everyone knows where to sleep except me.” He is exhausted and overwhelmed.

I have no idea what to do or say to Gary. Should I buy him art supplies? Should I tell him God has plans to prosper him, plans for welfare and not evil, to give him a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:17)? I offer a dumb observation about how the police do not seem to prioritize homeless camp sweeps. With more crying, Gary mutters, “We are not at the top of anybody’s priority list. Everyone thinks we are murderers and rapists.” I stand in awkward silence hoping for some solution for Gary’s suffering to appear. He thanks me for listening and talking to him, for the PB&Js and granola bars. I thank him for sharing his story and ask if he wants me to pray for him. He politely suggests I pray for him before I go to sleep.

I am praying for Gary and his anxiety. “Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing” (Matthew 5:25, ESV). Easier said than done. Praying life over Gary.

Michael Cox

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