The warm sun kisses his bare skin, it infiltrates past his outer layers and warms his soul. Laid flat on his back, he seems totally relaxed. His eyes are closed, his feet are bare.
In his own mind he could be anywhere…but he wasn’t, he was laid out on the street. Filthy and alone.
Laid out on his back, his shirt has risen up above his stomach exposing his skin to the sunlight. Unfortunately, the sunlight is the only positive in this image.
His skin is marked with baked dirt and where it isn’t it’s covered with scars. The souls of his feet black as the night and most likely tougher than steel.
I say “most likely” because I didn’t get close enough to tell. I was just another passer by.
I saw but made no attempt to help. I cannot justify my actions no matter how much time I had left on my lunch break, regardless what meetings I had booked.
I failed. I failed to fulfil my responsibility as a human.
That could be me. Laying on the ground, hundreds passing me by. His eyes were shut but I bet he could hear every footstep that passed, and didn’t stop.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Proverbs 31:8
It doesn’t make up for my failure but at least I have spoken. Consider those unfortunate on the street as human, worthy of your compassion. Do not disregard them as simply part of the urban scene.