A couple years ago I posed as a homeless person ‘flying a sign’ in front of the McDonald’s in North Little Rock, AR when a man approached me. The man was torn, and stained from the rough terrain of the street. His dog was a mix breed, and seemed early in his years. The man said hello, and asked for my story. He didn’t have the voice of someone who was battered or lost. He didn’t sound sad, depressed, or angry at all. He was real, and the things he said seemed sincere. Although there was something odd about this encounter.
I spent lots of hours begging for change around this area, but nothing like this ever happened. Nobody ever took the time to ask me how I got here, or why I was begging. They either looked straight ahead, careful not to make eye contact or they saw me, rolled the window down, and handed me whatever they could spare. This was the only interaction I had with someone who actually looked legit, and homeless. To this day I wonder if the man knew I was simply pretending, playing the role of someone who’s having a difficult time. If his dog could talk maybe then he would’ve known. Dogs seem to have a different sort of spiritual intelligence compared to us humans.
The man smiled and listened to every word I spoke. Then he told me about Jesus. I think God sent him to speak to me. The man said things like “Don’t give up.” and “Keep your head up.” As if I wasn’t ashamed enough already.
My drug addiction influenced me to act and do things out of desperation. That man had the clothes on his back, his dog, but most importantly, he had Jesus.
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