Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

This is a Day I won't soon forget!  This is a sequel to last night's blog I guess.  For this to make sense, you might need to read that.

I was up at the Wawa Store on Aramingo Ave by about 9:15am.  There was no sign of Martha there or in the few block area that I traveled this morning.  As I walked toward the Wawa door, I saw a man about 25 or 30 sitting on the ground asking for change.  Homeless addicts are everywhere in this area.  
People walked around him as they headed toward the Wawa double doors and said "Thank you to total strangers as each holds the door for the next person coming in or out.  (Wait... Stop... This blog is interrupted to explain the phenomenon of the convenience store we call Wawa.  It's an odd Lenape Indian word that means "Wild Goose." The Wawa Store was started by a man named Graham Wood.  He and his wife Emily attended my childhood church were my dad was the rector (Episcopal priest in charge of a church).  The Wawa Corporation has become a multi-billion dollar corporation over the years with an almost cult like following.  Google it some time if you want to learn more...  I've got to get back to the homeless man.

People walked around him as if he didn't exist and I'm willing to bet that most wish he didn't.  Some of the Wawa patrons were on their way to or had just come from church on this Palm Sunday when we celebrate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem five days before He was tortured and crucified for the sake of church goers and addicts alike.  It's a sacred day to us Christians so I can certainly understand why a homeless addict could be a distraction to such a day.  (NOT!!!)

I noticed his expression as each request for loose change was met with total avoidance.  When I walked toward the door, he looked toward me and smiled a bit as he looked at my Urban Hope shirt.  Instead of asking for change, he said Hi and I said Hi.  I went into the store, bought some gum and walked out.  In my car was a stash of granola bars and a left over paper from last night's Homeless Ministry outing that explained the ministries at Urban Hope.  I took both to him and was sure to point out the Recovery Meeting led by my friend Rick Cartagena.  He freely acknowledged his addiction and thanked me for the granola bar and the paper.  His name is Danny.

As for the man and woman traveling together who I mentioned yesterday, I found them again today and had a brief conversation with Autumn.  David was working the intersection at the time.  She's from Nevada and California and is convinced that no family is looking for her.  She's filthy beyond understanding and her long brown hair is severely matted.  I'm guessing that they are both in their mid thirties.

I would say more but I'm tired.....

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