Last night, my husband went to pick up a few things from the store. About 30 min after he left I get a call from him "Hey, I need to ask you a question. Is it alright if this homeless guy comes over to take a shower and get something to eat?" Now, I'll admit the first thing I thought was no way. I was actually a bit cross at my husband for even suggesting it! I was going to say "I don't think that's a good idea", but before those words came out of my mouth God softened my heart. "I guess that would be fine." I ended up saying. My husband then said "Great! We'll be home in a bit. By the way, he has had a bit to drink. Just please don't say anything" I felt my face get hot with anger "O.K" I said and hung up.
Honestly after I hung up, I said to myself "I don't even let my dad come to my house ,since he is always drinking. How can I not say anything to this man?" My heart was hardened again and I did not want him to come over.
About 30 min later my husband comes in with a bunch of grocery bags. Initially he had went to the store to pick up 2 or 3 items! After putting the bags in the kitchen my husband went back outside and when coming in had this man's bags. I thought, cant this man help him? About 1 min later this man came in. "Glenda, this is Jimmy. Jimmy, this is my wife Glenda." my husband said. "Nice to meet you Glenna" Said Jimmy. "Glenda" said my husband. "Who?" said Jimmy. OH great! I thought looking at him, seeing that, in fact he had been a bit drunk.
I kept thinking of my dad. "Hi, nice to meet you." I said. My husband then asked "Do you want to take a shower first? How about getting something to eat first?"
"Eating first sounds good." said Jimmy.
He sat on the love seat, across from me and then said "I don't want to be a bother. If I am, please tell me." Along with his backpack he had a plastic bag. "People are so kind... I went into the bathroom at the store and someone put this bag of clothes in my cart!" I said "That was nice of them." He started pulling clothes out and everything was new. The tags were just taken off. He showed us some pants and shirts. He said "these all won't fit in my bag. I carry 3 sets of clothing." He pulled a few more shirts out looked a them and said "This will fit your son and these will fit your wife." Handing my husband a few shirts. "I can't carry these since I don't have any room"
My husband was in and out of the living room and the kitchen, since he was making steaks for everyone. You could see the joy in his heart while taking these clothes out of the bags and looking at them. He said "Not a lot of people want to help someone. Some people have such big hearts" Looking at him I said, "You're right some do." As soon as I had said these words I got hit with conviction. I am the one that didn't want him coming to my house..I am the one that would have rather given him a few bucks than for him to use my shower. I felt so horrible! My husband then said that a lot of those groceries were for him and that he bought items that didn't need refrigeration, besides some lunch meat and cheese for the next day. Jimmy was ever so thankful!
While my husband was in the kitchen, I got to talk with Jimmy. He was in Vietnam for 4 years and was 63 years old. He had a daughter named Star that was 40 who lived in Mississippi along with 2 grandsons. He gets Social Security, but only 320 dollars a month, not enough to get him a place. His wife was murdered in a robbery when his daughter was young and he had to raise her alone. "What do you do during the day?" I asked. "I sit at Wal Mart, talk to the employees and wait for the night. At 11pm I set up my cardboard box to sleep. I just wait for my Social Security check to come in" He answered.
"Does your daughter know where you are?" I asked. He then looked sad and said "I haven't talked to her in 6 months. I don't like to call her when I have been drinking. The last time I talked to her was in December"
As a daughter of a man who is a bad alcoholic, I knew his daughter was worried about him. There are days when I think I'm going to get a call and someone is going to tell me my father has passed. My dad has grazed death too many times for me to count or want to think of.
He then took off his jacket and told me how his arm was messed up and he couldn't put it in the arm of his sleeve. I had been wondering why he was wearing his jacket with one arm out. "A few weeks ago I got hit by a car. It hurts too much to move it this way" he said, while moving his arm as if he was going to put it in the sleeve of his coat.
Right then I knew he had to call his daughter just to let her know he was ok. Funny though, my husband thought the same thing at the exact same moment and came into the living room. "Would you like to call your daughter? I have a calling card your could use." Jimmy's eyes lit up and you could see how excited he was to get a chance to speak with his baby."That would be great! Let me find the number." I remembered that he didn't like to talk to his daughter being drunk and whispered that to my husband, while Jimmy was looking in his wallet for the number. "If you want I can talk to her and let her know that you are alright" my husband then said. "Ok, here it is. Let me put my glasses on, since I can't read without them." He gave my husband the number."Is this Star? I believe I know your father Jimmy." As soon as my husband said this, I knew that her heart must have skipped a beat in fear of hearing some horrible news." I have him here at my house."
Jimmy did want to talk to her then and my husband handed him the phone " Hi sweetheart." he said with the biggest smile on his face. I started to tear up. My father also when drunk calls me sweetheart. Just listening to him talk, the slower speech caused by his drinking and him repeating himself a few times reminded me of my dad 100%. He told her he was going to get sober and go visit her and her kids since it has been 10 years since they have last seen each other. I kept on tearing up, my heart going out to his daughter. After he was done talking to her, my husband got the phone to talk to Star. He went outside to ask her if she wanted him out there.
I looked at Jimmy and he had his face in his hands and when he took his hands away I saw the tears in this eyes. He said "My daughter is a sweetheart. She loves me very much, but she just hates me drinking." I told him "You remind me of my dad. I know how she feels." I was able to witness to him and give him my testimony which was a plus. He responded in the same way my dad does. That's ok. I know God will work on his heart.
My husband came in and made him his plate. He wasn't able to finish it, since he doesn't eat very often. After eating he then took a shower. While he was in the shower my husband said "His daughter said no way about him going there..unless he was sober. She said that she has kids and doesn't want to put them through that." I said that sounds just like me. There were times that my dad wanted to spend the night and I said no way because of that very same reason.
"I feel bad about dropping him off on the corner. Do you think he could spend the night." I had a feeling that he was going to ask this. I was thinking the same thing though, but I didn't want him to sleep over since I sleep in the living room on the recliner. I feed my daughter all night long and she uses me as a paci. I said "I don't know" He came out of the shower and got his stuff ready asking if my husband was ready to go. My husband then asked if he would like to spend the night. He said that he didn't want to be a bother and he was just thankful for the shower and the meal. Before I knew it, I said "It's no bother" My husband said "You can have my bed and I'll sleep on the floor" He said there was no way he would take his bed and let my husband sleep on the floor. He has slept on the ground for years.
My husband ended up sleeping in the living room with me. (I sleep on the recliner because of my back there is no way I can lay flat and it is so much easier sleeping like that with my daughter, since I'm always feeding her). We talked for a bit and my son wanted Jimmy to read him a book. Jimmy put his glasses on and was happy to read him a few books. Jimmy said to me "tomorrow I'm going to meet up with a friend of mine and ask him to take me to Cruces so I can sober up" (there is a hospital out there) "That's great!" I told him. He ended up going to sleep, since he said he was tired and it was already 12 am. He didn't once come out and was sound asleep in no time. He had a great nights sleep and my husband took him back to his spot this morning. When he came back my husband said he gave him $5. Even though we aren't able to fully pay the bills this month, I knew Jimmy needed it more. Plus I know God will provide for us. He asked if that was ok. Of course it was!