by Jay O'Toole
The homeless have real needs. How many times do I walk by not knowing what to say or do?
|The verdant grass, it grips the dirt, embraces ground.
A weary human crumples to the bed he's found.
Each gentle drop of falling rain refreshes face,
Until a smile begins to form in newest grace.
"How do I find myself without a lasting home?
Why do I need to walk each day this weary roam?"
Some birds bring parts of nesting cloth to shelter o'er
This sad, depleted soul, whose troubles can't be more.
He lost his eye, his job, and simple self-respect.
He lost his wife, his home, his friends in quick reject.
But when the bottom seemed his lot upon his back,
His eyes looked up. He felt a lift. He found new track.
When squirr'ls left nuts by his new bed to fill his need
and dogs stood guard around at night in gracious deed,
He thought that Someone up there might just care for him
as beams of Hope brought light back through his heart grown dim.
Red and orange, purple pansy faces grew
in cheery wordless conversation that he knew.
Though friendless man the plants became his smiling friends,
Restoring peace 'til ev'ry bloody heart-tear mends.
A gracious lady strolling through the park one day
Espied his flow'ry mound and sent'nels on display.
She shook him gently to be sure he was alive,
Then asked if he was willing to go for a drive.
"I'll move along if you would take me to the jail
because I have no money and can't post a bail."
"Oh, no, Dear Sir. I'll take you to a loving home
we've started for the homeless, who need never roam.
"You're loved beyond what you could ever understand.
You need not live a day as homeless in the land."
The flower mound stands testament to God's great Love.
He speaks in silence moving from His watch above,
He draws the human touch to mend us side by side
He dabs His tears in hope for He has with us cried.
The life of ev'ry human soul has ups and downs.
We live with smiles, but very often know our frowns.
When others see we're "someone, who has lived his due,"
then hope has failed and restoration is quite through.
However, when we're seen as fashioned by God's Hand,
then Hope begins and Restoration has a plan.
The Maker of each man and woman, earth and sky
has made us with the dignity of His reply.
When Jesus came to Earth He lived a homeless life.
He spoke of love and life made new beyond all strife.
His birth was in a hay-trough that was not his own.
His tomb was borrowed, not ornate like kingly throne.
He stayed with friends, who honored Him with bed and sup.
He moved along when fellowshipping time was up.
He shared a meal with friends in just a borrowed room.
He left from public mountain to come back quite soon.
If God of Glory owning cattle on a thousand hills,
could live His life without a home and prophecy fulfill,
Then could we humans have a heart for those, who need our care
with open hands and loving hearts with gifts we can prepare?
Such little flowers live their lives with silent, shining joy.
We humans could give good words and what hope we could employ.
by Jay O'Toole
on April 1st, 2018
This fictionalized poem is dedicated to the fine people,
who operate Open Hearts Community Mission in our town.
The man in the poem is not a real person of which I am aware,
but his story is similar to so many,
who are in need of our love,
our respect and our continued care.