Last month, I watched a video, over at Sue Dreamwalker’s blog, about homelessness. The topic and the video still nudge me to explore further. It’s about a homeless man whose family comes to find him after many years. I’ve wondered how the man became homeless, what separated him from his family, and what brought his family back to him. Maybe enough time had gone by. Maybe the daughter, having grown up, wanted to see her father, to take a chance. Maybe the burden of her mother’s resentments had become too heavy, and it was time to open the door to forgiveness.
My experience working with and getting to know homeless people has made me realize that if I’d encountered more misfortune or taken a couple steps further down certain roads, I could have ended up in their shoes. I’ve also learned that everyone has hopes and dreams even if they’ve been buried under the rubble of addiction, poverty, or debilitating mental illness. Demons can distance people. Bridges get burned. Yet there is always hope for recovery, always an opportunity to love. Even if a bridge has been burned, it can be re-built.
On a side note, the hard part in writing this is that there must be someone I need to forgive or forgive more deeply. My X perhaps, or someone who’s gotten on my nerves. Resentments with deep roots, come back like weeds.
We’ve all been hurt and forgiveness can be a scary thing. We may need to set boundaries to take care of ourselves. But perhaps there is a door that can be opened just a little or a window that needs cleaning. Maybe we can look through that window and give a smile or a nod of encouragement. Bridges can be built with a handshake or a hug. Peace can begin with a whispered prayer.
God, help me remember that I need forgiveness, too.
Here’s the video, Momentos, by Nuno Rocha : Thanks to Sue Dreamwalker for sharing it.
(You might not cry, but you will be moved.)