I was at DI (church thrift store) and found myself in an aisle with a strange looking man. He looked like someone who had lost several hundred pounds. His legs and feet were still quite large, but the rest of him looked like he had lost weight after being morbidly obese. He was wearing a knitted cap, and looked disheveled. As I got nearer to him, I noticed a very strong odor coming from him. It was over powering! I tried to lag behind him aways so that I would be out of reach of the stench, but even 4 or 5 feet away was not enough. I finally had to leave the aisle and go elsewhere.
After I left the aisle, I told my mother that I couldn't stand the smell. But then I felt bad for this man, and felt bad for turning away from him. I decided that I was going to try to find a way to reach out to him in some small way. While my brother and his wife were checking out, I went to put my cart back and noticed that man sitting on a bench at the front of the store. I think he was resting. He had seemed to have trouble walking. I looked at him and smiled and said something about how sometimes we need a rest. He just looked at me and smiled. I wonder if anyone else had even spoken to him that day.
Don't think that I feel magnanimous because of this. I feel bad that I let the physical things get in the way of seeing this man as a child of God. I am used to working with those who are mentally disabled, but I haven't really had much contact with the homeless; which I think he was. I feel like this man helped me to learn a lesson that day. I hope I can remember him next time I'm in a similar situation.