We have a man named Lawrence in our community who lives in a tent. He often will ride his bike with a trailer he built collecting bottles. I remember the day in the summer when Lawrence was passing by our home. He was a sweet man, rugged and smelling of beer. He was respectful and gracious. He had boundaries of never wanting to come inside our home. After giving him bottles I told him he could come back anytime to get more. Lawrence now visits us weekly to get his bottles.
Last week, my hubby and I asked him if he wanted to come over for Thanksgiving dinner. We wondered if he would show up, but he did. He had brought a gift for our kids that he had bought from the Sally Ann. I was a little nervous as we had never had Lawrence over before and we had another couple over for dinner as well.
Turns out, it was one of the best Thanksgiving dinners we’ve had. We laughed, had great conversation and found out many wonderful things about our new friend.
I don’t know why we are so afraid of the homeless. I do believe caution is necessary, but towards everyone, not just a certain sector of people.
Lawrence left a little teary. Before he left he said; “One of the most beautiful things people can share is a meal together”. I was touched by his statement as it’s one of my dreams for my home. I dream of a “table of misfits”. You can read about that here. I got a glimpse of that on Sunday evening.
Our homes can be lighthouses, a beacon of hope for those who need it. My kids can’t wait to have Lawrence over again. He’ll be over for dinner again very soon.
“The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and rich neighbours, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be – and experience – a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor but the favor will be returned.” (from Luke 15)