For What I Have

By Celal Kamran

Many of my encounters in the Oregon Hill community are with people that are homeless. I do not seek these interactions out; they are a part of the life of a GoTH resident. This is especially accurate for me, an intern at St. Andrew’s Church as people in need come to the office or call in continually. One particular interaction I had with a man who is homeless, is going to stay with me for ever. I met this man in the middle of the day outside the Fine Food Market, which happens to be a fine establishment. He asked me for money for food which isn’t out of the ordinary and my response wasn’t out of the ordinary either; “I do not have any money but I might have some food at my house.” As I turned to leave though this man started hurling curses at me and told me to watch my back on the street, I am marked. I went back to the parish house shaken but determined to make a difference. Out of pride as much as care for this man, I took my lunch and went seeking him. As I walked up with my hand full of food, the man looked stunned. I handed him the food I promised and turned to leave, but as I was leaving the man shouted, “I love you man, God Bless you!” With those words, I knew I was not in danger so I returned to reply, “ I love you too and I care for you also.” To that, the man started crying and told me no one knows his name, no one knows he exists. It is the saddest thing for him knowing he doesn’t have anyone left. I stayed and talked to him for a bit and returned home. Now I would never advocate for someone to do what I did. I know too how dangerous and reckless my actions were. But through my second interaction with this man, I learned what else he needed besides food. The physical still precedes all other needs because without food, he starves. But this man also craves something I often overlook. A blessing so great but goes unappreciated. So I offer this prayer of thanksgiving for all that I often overlook.

For my family that cares and loves me.

Thanks be to God

For friendships that strengthen and support me.

Thanks be to God

For relationships big and small.

Thanks be to God

For friends new and old.

Thanks be to God

For mentors that shaped who I am today.

Thanks be to God

For those who know and care for me.

Thanks be to God

For all blessings big and small.

Thanks be to God! Amen!

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