Another Chance

A homeless man and I crossed paths today
As he looked hopefully into my eyes
I’m ashamed to say, I looked away.
His angry face, his dirty, tattered clothes
they frightened me, although for all I know
I scared him with my new car, fancy clothes.
Jesus said He is the beggar at our door
He lives among the homeless in the street.
All day I fretted at what I hadn’t done
said hello or shared money so he could eat.
I used to roll down my window at the stop light
and hold out dollars to the countless homeless
and it always felt like doing that was right.
I stopped giving freely a few years ago
after I brought food and blankets to a family
holding signs that said, “We are hungry.”
and they turned my offerings away.
“We can only accept cash,” they said.
so I stopped giving without noticing
to the homeless after that rueful day.
Have I become so cynical and
and is it a million dollar business
as I have read? Maybe. I just don’t know.
A poor excuse even even to my ears
that all should pay for one group of cons
and my habit of giving should flip to no
when I had given joyously for so many years.
This man deserved a smile and kind words
and brave soul that I am, I looked away.
Now, I drive the streets seeking his face
and if I see him, I will do right by him today.