I was driving in my car when I witnessed a sight that was both heart-breaking and heart-warming. I was on Main Street around lunch time on route for an appointment. The streets and sidewalks were busy with drivers and walkers. I stopped at a red light.
Looking around like I usually do, a situation caught my immediate attention. I am not oblivious to the homeless situation in our city. I know that this is a problem for not only Winnipeg, but for cities all over the world. It’s more than a problem; it’s an epidemic. So armed with this knowledge, why is it that every time I see a destitute soul, tears are just one blink away? At first, I thought the greyish, crumbled mass on the sidewalk was a bag of garbage. I then noticed two young gentlemen walk past this same mass, but then quickly turned around to investigate their finding. It was not a heap of trash. It was a homeless man. In that brief moment, waiting for the light to turn green, I experienced a number of different emotions. First, I was ashamed at myself for mistaking a human being for a bag of garbage. Second, my heart was filled with sadness for this soul who very likely never dreamed that this would be the life he ever envisioned for himself.
In an instant, my mood changed from sadness to an undeserving sense of pride. Not in myself, but for the two young men who showed compassion towards this individual. They were probably in their mid 20’s and very well dressed. There seemed to be no hesitation on their part as they got down on their hands and knees, lifted him off the pavement, carried him and then gently placed the homeless man against a side of the building where he had collapsed. The light turned green.
I took the same route back when my appointment was over. As I approached that same street corner I could see the flashing lights of an ambulance. Paramedics were talking to the young men who, for all I know, saved a man’s life that afternoon. It was difficult to watch that scenario play out before my eyes, but in the same breath it was beautiful to witness a true act of kindness, consideration and love.
Contributor: Kim Malchuk, Author of Tasting Rain