Long Time, No See

Yesterday, I finally connected with Lee, and we had such a good visit together.

First off, if you’re wondering why I haven’t seen him in awhile, there are a couple reasons, but neither one of them really matters (but I’ll tell you anyway). Before I begin, I’ll bring new readers up to speed.

Earlier this year (around March), on one of my prayer journeys during my lunch break, I met and prayed for a homeless man named Lee. Right from the start, we became friends, and throughout this year, we’ve just become closer and closer.

I’ve brought him to the house to meet the kids, shower, shave, rest on comfy furniture…all the while, washing his clothes. After his stay, I’d drop him off at the park, which was so hard, but I’d grown used to it.

When I started my business, I saw him less because time became something that needed to be managed, and I found out that that’s a learning process.

A couple months ago was the last time I saw him. It was right after I hurt my foot. During that visit, he spoke about going to get a phone and getting off the streets. I was so excited for him. He told me, once he got his phone, he’d call me. My phone never rang.

The next few times I went to visit him, he wasn’t there, so I assumed he’d moved on and stopped going to visit, but I always wondered if he was still there, and so did other people.

Every once in awhile, friends would ask me how he was. I had no idea because I hadn’t seen him. During that time was also when I’d struggled really hard with the business and wanted to quit.

When you’re in that place, it’s hard enough to take a shower, let alone drive downtown to check to see if someone MIGHT be there, so I never did, but I wondered if he was still there.

And then it came to that point: it’d been so long, how do I even show my face!

Before my retreat, a friend had asked about Lee, and I told him how I’d felt. He reminded me not to condemn myself and encouraged me tremendously. His words strengthened me, and I knew it. I could feel it. Well, yesterday, I decided to try again to see if he was at the park.

IMG_1049As I drove around the corner, I couldn’t believe it: his bags were there! I even said aloud, “You’re still here?!” But I didn’t see “him,” so I parked my car and decided to wait by his bags. After about five minutes, a man began walking towards me.

From a distance, I couldn’t tell who it was because I no longer have my glass, but as he came closer, I recognized his walk and jumped to my feet to go meet him.

He said, “Girl, where have you been?” We smiled and hugged…for a long time.

We sat down, as if a moment never went by without us seeing each other, and then, I began to cry (just a little). I apologized for not coming around. I told him how I’d swung by and hadn’t seen him. He said, “That’s because I wasn’t here” and explained.

He’d been attempting to get his driver’s license and needed his birth certificate, so he took a bus to South Carolina to get things straightened out. While there, he saw his sister, his mom, and some of his friends. South Carolina’s where he grew up. THAT’s why I hadn’t seen him.

As we were catching up, he explained some of the difficulties he’s been having. He has some health issues, so it’s tough for him to get around, so he hasn’t stayed as “clean” as he’d like to. He also said they no longer pass out sandwiches and such like they used to. We talked about what’s going on with the rules about feeding the homeless and how many people have stopped, which makes it hard on him.

Of course, I offered my home. Now, with all the new laws bouncing around San Diego, I’m not even sure I’m ALLOWED to, so be ready to bail me out because he’ll be over today, getting cleaned up and resting, while I wash his clothes and make flags.

It’s funny: he said he’s been thinking about me every day. I think about him like that, too. I’m glad God urged me to step out, and I’m glad Lee doesn’t hold grudges!

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