I was driving, it was dark. I missed my turn and frustrated found myself at a stop light in the wrong lane.
I looked over.
There was a homeless man.
You know the kind, can you picture him? He was holding a sign. It was cold as it often is in Minnesota. We were in one of our frigid snaps. I had just been having coffee, talking with my Board Chair about what was next with Stories Foundation. My mind and heart were full of vision and ideas on how we could help, what we could accomplish.
I saw the man and I remembered, I had a dollar. $1. That was it. But it was something. I dug in my wallet, rolled down my window. He came over and i handed him what I had. What he said I will never forget.
“It doesn’t cost anything to see me”
I squeezed his hand. I was flustered and said something like of course not, you are a human being. You deserve to be seen. I slipped into mom mode and told him to get out of the cold, to get a coffee at McDonalds or something.
It doesn’t cost anything to see me.
I run an organization. Stories Foundation. We educate people about human trafficking, connect the community to the issue through our Freedom Food Truck and offer job placement, job training and housing opportunities to survivors of trafficking.
I am not homeless. I have my needs met, I am provided for. I am warm when it is cold and cool when it is warm. I have good food around me all the time as well as a never ending supply of coffee.
And I resonate with the homeless man.
It doesn’t cost you anything to see me.
Sometimes I want to shout it in a crowded room.
IT DOESN”T COST YOU ANYTHING TO SEE ME.
To see the work I so tirelessly pursue. The people who are deeply hurting that I desire to reach. To ask me how I am. How it is going. How you can pray. To see me.
There is this commercial on hulu. It is for scoriasis. And the the catch phrase is : “see me”. The idea being see the person, not the soriacis.
Caring about social justice issue + choosing to start a non profit sometime can feel like the emptional version of scorasis.
I am a person behind the fundraising.
I am a person behind the passion.
I am a person behind the promotion.
I am still a person.
This is justice. To choose to see people in their pain, in the hard things. To not skim over the parts you don’t understand or think you undersand and have promptly judged. I can only speak to it because I have done it. Judged when I should have listened. Misunderstood when I should have loved. Ignored when I should have spoken.
Live out justice today and respect someone in your sphere. Ask and listen and pray.
It won’t cost you anything.
Or maybe it will.
Would that be so bad?