It’s everywhere. And I don’t necessarily want to talk about it because it seems to paint me as lacking compassion. It makes me out to be a cowardly and disgusting person.
Not just me. Anyone really. Because I am guilty of doing what we all do. But you don’t admit to things like this because well, it makes you look bad.
It’s everywhere though, like I said. And the reason I do what I do, why anyone reacts this way probably, is because I don’t yet know what else to do.
In Houston, it seems every stoplight I end up at is occupied by someone openly asking for help. Their signs, when I can risk glancing at them while avoiding eye contact, tell me they need money..food..hope..prayers..money.money.money..
And it’s everywhere. On the streets of Chicago, corners of Houston and against the backdrop of historical glory in Europe.
In Italy, people were always asking for help. Elderly men and women sprawled out on the streets begging. Children with their parents pawing through train cars begging.
It makes my heart ache. It makes me want to buy a million meals and hand them out. It makes me want to clear out every cent I have and put it in their hands. It makes me question God. It makes me wonder at my own blessings. It makes me ashamed because I hardly ever give in.
Instead I avert my eyes and hate myself. I pray for them and then I pray they won’t come too close so I won’t have to make eye contact and feel even more ashamed than I already do. It makes me feel guilty and it makes me feel cruel. It makes me feel heartless but I know I’m not because I can feel the troubledness of my heart.
Every now and then I give. I give when I can’t take it any longer. I give when it seems no one else is giving. In Italy I gave to a lady who seemed extra desperate, and who was being made fun of by passerby. I gave to her out of pity and rage and a desire to protect in some way.
Like I said I’d give to everyone if I could. But that’s just it. It’s everywhere. And I don’t know how to give to everyone. I don’t think I have enough to give to everyone.
Also, obviously I think, giving to everyone is like putting a Band-Aid on the situation. Giving to individuals might never be enough. There are root causes at play. I wonder whether these will ever be fully addressed. I wonder if I can find a way to help address them.
I know it isn’t something I’ll stop thinking about. After all, it’s everywhere.