Honon the Bear
When I returned to the “hill” with some warm clothes – some things I had for years taking up space in my closet – I met Honon, (not his real name – my daughter tells me the name “Honon” is Native American for Bear).
As those gathered shared the clothes I had brought amongst themselves, it was obvious that nothing in my bag was going to fit “the Bear”. I asked if there was anything he needed and he showed me his boot. I asked his size because sometimes at my home Church people are willing to share gently used items with those less fortunate amongst us, but size 14 was not a match with anyone I knew.
He asked if I knew of any brick mason jobs. He said he used to be a brick mason and job superintendent; supervising jobs like the building of Walmart facilities. I’m pretty sure he was intoxicated while we were visiting. Found myself wondering if he lost his job because he was drinking or losing his job drove him to drink. Either way it was not my job to judge.
Our Lord makes clear our responsibility in such cases: “Give to everyone who asks you …”, (Luke 6:30 NIV). What a relief to be free from having to judge the worthy!
Honon went on to tell me about his service to the Country as a Marine. Sometimes he stands at the intersection without a sign and just salutes. I don’t think he does very well panhandling but I’m happy to report that the last time I saw him on the corner he was sporting new boots!