Yesterday I hopped on the bus in Dana Point under a drizzling rain, but it was all over by the time I reached Corona Del Mar to start the walk. A friend in Dana Point said it drizzled off and on all day, and I could often see it on the horizon – but not a drop on me. A close-up look at some of the beaches revealed the wear and tear of the wind, rain and high surf over the past few days.
Spotlights This Week:
Always: Hope Chapel Missions
Charity Spotlight: Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
Church Spotlight: Coquille Foursquare Church (Praise Center) – Coquille, OR
My photos of the day reflect the view south (I’m obviously in SOUTHERN Cali now):
And the view west (showing some lingering rain):
I had an interesting encounter on the bus, and I have to say that it left me with some regrets – and some inspiration. Two women embarked in Laguna Beach. Both were pretty obviously homeless, and they were not traveling together. The thin, worn, elderly blonde sat right behind me, and the somewhat healthier-looking brunette woman took a seat across the aisle a few rows back.
I was concentrating on the road ahead – my stop was coming up, and because I never travel the same route twice it’s not ingrained in my head where I need to get off and I need to be attentive.
I heard the brunette woman trying to get someone’s attention. I looked back over my shoulder and saw she was calling the blonde lady – who was oblivious to her. The blonde was within my reach, so I tapped her on the shoulder. At first she appeared startled and irritated that I had touched her, but I pointed her to the other woman, who was trying to give her some money. She refused to take it, and she remained unresponsive to anything for the rest of the trip.
The brunette lady said, “She’s just confused”, then started talking about the plight of homeless women – how they got there, what happens when they get there, why they can’t get away from there… and as you can imagine, it wasn’t pretty.
There was only 1 other person on the bus besides the 3 of us. The brunette looked at the 4th person and said, “People like her don’t care.” That woman heard her, looked at me and rolled her eyes… I ignored her and kept listening to the brunette lady.
Some will wonder why I didn’t do more when maybe I could have done more. I can’t answer that question, because I’m still asking it of myself – but when my stop came, I got off the bus.
I couldn’t stop thinking about those two ladies. How one was so willing to use her meager resources to help the other – even when the other could never hope to repay her. That has struck me time and again about the transient people I’ve encountered on this trek – their willingness to share.
Whether it’s the guy along a remote stretch of highway who offered to share a sandwich with me, or sweet Chris in Garberville who made me an origami flower and shared information about where I could get a free shower. In many cases they are a community that cares for each other’s well-being.
I have reflected on these things as our church has done a series of sermons on ‘Community’. My experiences on this trek have convicted me about the importance of putting others above yourself – and the example has been set by the least among us…
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ~ Acts 20:35