It could have been that I had written two midterms today and felt pretty good about how I did. I don't think it would have been because I had gone to bed at 5 in the morning and woken up 5 hours later (thus also skipping my morning class to study some more). But the point is...something inside me was telling me something. This happened just as I crossed College street to get to the Tim Hortons on the other side. I was going to congratulate myself and pre-celebrate with a French Vanilla, which is sitting in front of me at this moment in my subway seat. Right as I crossed over and lifted my head to make sure I was heading in the right direction, I noticed the old, bearded man squatting right beside the stairs leading down to Tim Hortons. He held a large coffee cup to collect change and, though I only noticed later, smoking the last bit of his cigarette.
That something that I had mentioned earlier? That was when it poked me. Mentally, inwardly, spiritually - however you want to call it. I stood in line then, suddenly thinking about what would be the most ideal thing to get this man. Was he hungry? Was he thirsty? Should I just get him a regular coffee or would that. E a bad choice since coffee's a diuretic and would only make him more thirsty? What about a donut? Did they have any Honey ones left? My head was brimming excitedly about my soon-to-be good deed and what comforted me was that it wasn't "me" caring about him but God's love speaking to me. About this homeless guy, smoking a cigarette, squatting outside like it was just the thing he wanted to do.
I ended up doing what seemed most simple and easiest at that time - I ordered a box of 10 timbits. Mixed. My drink in hand and the box in the other, i made my way up the stairs and towards his spot. There was too little time for my mind to get all excited again about how I was going to proceed so the rest of the story went a little something like this:
- Here you go!
- Oh! *coughing and immediatelysnuffinghiscigarett
- Alright, take care. You have a good night!
I give him a wide smile, turn and walk down the stairs.
I guess you could say that I wished that I had spoken to him longer or maybe at least introduced myself and gotten his name. Then I could carry the conversation and tell him that God had nudged me to get those timbits. Bu I didn't, and in a strange way, I'm happy that I didn't. It was a step that I am so happy that I took. A risk to reach out to one person in need because I followed His leading. When you follow His lead, you can be sure that he won't lead you astray.
What follows after this may be a little unfortunate. As I got around the corner of the stairs, I saw yet another man at the end of the hallway. He was holding a sign, on which he had written words that I don remember (but along the similar idea of needs). I remember waking towards him, still feeling good about my deed, with my hot drink in hand and my spirit just falling because I wasn't able to help him as well. That and also I could have easily offered to give him my French Vanilla but that I didn't.
All in all, there are people out there who have the guts after losing whatever they'd lost to sit at corners and ask for change. I admit I look past them almost all of the time (if not all). We can have hearts to give and the willing spirits but the reality of this world is that there are A LOT of people in need. It's hard to care for each one. One of my prayers tonight would be for those resting in the TTC hallways and corners of downtown, that they would find rest in Jesus one day. I hope the man with the timbits could be encouraged by his tiny box. And even if he isn't, I know that I did my part.
Upside: God's pretty cool. I had two midterms today that I feel pretty good about (that's seriously a first do I'm really glad, as sad as that is) and now ...
Edit: I'm now at home so no longer on the subway
... I need to focus again and start my essay. Wish me luck!