Saturday can be a little more of a wait coming back from Walmart. At the sheltered bus stop, I sat down in between two men. It was a conversation between one person trying to help another. As I was in between this, I figured out the one slept behind the buildings across the street and the other was trying to get him in a shelter. The helper called someone and left a message that he knew someone needing a place to sleep that night.
What was different was the person needing a place to stay was reluctant to respond to an offer of help. The helper offered to get on the bus with him and take him to the place he knew would give him a bed and shelter. He continued to be non-responsive to his offer in any way… neither accepting or denying the offer. Do you have money for the bus the helper asked. No response. He just mumbled something. By now I was becoming, inadvertently, part of this.
The helper guy offered to give him money for the bus fare. Still no response. Here comes the bus “so ride with me,” he insisted. Being caught up in this conversation, I gave him a dollar and the other guy a quarter. Then I told him exactly what he needed to do to get to the location. He needed a transfer to get there, so I gave him another quarter (a transfer is a dime more, but it was the only change I had). He just didn’t want any help.
As the bus showed up, the helper guy asked him again to get on the bus with him. He didn’t budge. Walking to the bus he asked one more time. Still no response. The helper guy and I boarded Line 2 bus and the guy needing help stayed behind.
Then we went off as the guy sat there. Not really knowing why. Maybe it was how the helper guy was going about it (which could be another story).
In most instances someone willingly accepts a little help from unknown friends, but this person just seemed totally depressed. I know that because I was depressed at one time, and maybe I still am to some degree. It was like I was frozen. I couldn’t move or anything. I had a hard time walking to a bus stop let alone getting on.
How can we help?
First is understanding what is going on and then realizing someone must want our help. If help is not wanted, there is not much to do.
A large part of our culture probably is depressed and can’t get out of their stupor. That’s the greatest challenge. All we do won’t work unless we figure this first part out. When hope is totally diminished, we just can’t use intravenous methods to get hope into a person. Then, for whatever reason, someone must want it.
The hardest code to crack is the “no hope” code. Our human person without hope just doesn’t function. And then to be able to accept help graciously (for me the hardest part).
I am still puzzled. Some people on the street may stop you to ask for money for the bus. But for this guy to just refuse, in his quiet non-receptive way, was unusual. He had to be depressed. And that is the biggest puzzle. How to get out of it? If you don’t wanna… it won’t happen.
All who pray and believe they have already received what they ask for, will receive what they ask for, Jesus said.
If we could turn our thoughts around to "we can have it better," then it can become better. Even if just a little bit at a time. And then we need to accept help when offered to restart our engines and accept help from our friends, even if we don’t know they are our friends yet.
Lesson learned: We gotta wanna… and we must be willing to say yes, and thank you.
(In the Way of the Seal, we see a completely different person. A person wanting to excel above average which is how the Navy Seals perform.)…...