Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot, just a fifty-something who is overjoyed to talk to you about life. love and a boatload of other topics. We are living in a time that is super uncertain for many people around the world. This is the last episode of season seven, and I want to close this season out with an important message and lesson I've learned. When I think about how blessed I am today, it almost brings me to tears. When we start out in life, we never know where our journey is going to take us. I think if we did have any idea, we would probably be fearful to walk the journey. Some of you know I love writing poetry, and every now and then, I like to share some of my work. The recent surge in inflation is causing so many people to struggle with being able to afford basic necessities the cost of housing, food, and utilities are constantly going through the roof. No pun intended. If you are clothed and housed today, you are blessed. So my story tonight reflects an encounter I had with someone who was not blessed with the basic amenities of life. I'm going to start with a Haiku called a Ceiling of Stars. A chance encounter with a man experiencing homelessness amplified my gratitude for my life today.
Please don’t look away.
My gaze is never pity.
I have compassion.
Please share your struggles.
My heart is heavy with yours.
I have time for you.
Life is brutal.
My ceiling has not been stars.
I pray you find a home.
One afternoon while waiting for my son to finish his coding class at the library an uncomfortable sight startled me. I noticed a man who was about six foot seven and the police kept following him wherever he went in the library. The man came and sat across from me but he kept avoiding my gaze for several minutes. Then he asked me if I would talk to him so that he could feel normal. My heart sank because normal is just a setting on the washing machine. But I knew that I asked him to share his story with me. My follow up question involved how I could be of assistance to him. He indicated that he needed something to eat. After a quick trip to the vending machine, I presented him with some snacks and with a drink. His eyes fell away from me again. He would not look at me directly as he accepted the food. My request to him was simple. Don't look away and do not feel ashamed for receiving help.
I told him that ten years ago, I lost my home because of an unexpected illness. It left me financially devastated. If it were not for my family's help, the stars would have been my ceiling. The look on his face said so much. He could not believe that I had ever faced experiencing homelessness. There's a saying that my mom used to use all the time. I thought about her words when I talked to Terry. There but by the grace of God go I. Remembering that at any given time, I am eligible to experience hardships helps me to appreciate the good times of my life today. A lot has changed about my life in the last ten years. I am in a place that I used to drive by and dream to live in. I am asking that we stop calling homeless. The nonprofit organization I work with taught me to refer to people as people experiencing homelessness. If you want to make a difference in the lives of people like Terry, please consider donating to back on my feet.org. The link is in my show notes.
"Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth."
Thanks for listening this evening and as always I wish you good health, good fortune, and a goodnight. Cocoa Griot out!