Molly suddenly realized the irony of her situation. She was packing what belongings she could take with her in her small car to leave her home for the last five years. She had once passed up many a homeless person on the street as she walked to get her daily Starbucks latte going into her cushy office job. They stood begging for her change, she had snubbed them all. Trudged ahead quickly in her heels, clacking against the sidewalk.
She always had a reason for never stopping; she didn’t have the time, she was in a hurry, they aren’t REALLY homeless, they would probably just by drugs, or any other likely excuse that she could come up with in the two seconds it would’ve taken to stop and hand someone a few nickels or dimes. The problem now was that she had lost her job and where she thought she would find one again quickly, she did not. Molly was stuck in an unlikely and unfavorable position.
Aside from her family living hundreds of miles away she was too proud to call and ask for help. She would have to figure this out on her own, but for now she only had her vehicle to provide her a roof. She suddenly had thought about those countless dozens that she turned her nose to, and said to herself, I wonder how many of them started out just like me.
Molly couldn’t have known or would’ve because she never took the time to stop and ask. She had to finally admit to herself that she thought herself better than them. The situation dire had certainly knocked her off her pedestal. Molly was certainly used to hearing how good of a person she was, how kind and friendly. However, where were her friends now? It seemed that everyone had their own problems and couldn’t take in a jobless drifter.
She loaded up her car and drove around for a bit, $39.00 is all that was left in her bank account and would have to last her for lord knows how long. She would keep applying for jobs and certainly something would work out soon. Somehow the company that she was once happy working for had figured a way to get her unemployment denied. After a week the $39.00 was gone and she was left sleeping in her car, not driving. Her cellphone had been disconnected and she didn’t have a way to shower or shave. It was close to impossible to find a job at this rate.
Out of shear desperation Molly found herself begging on a street corner that was already occupied by a man in his torn and tattered clothes. She was completely frightened not only of the situation but of the man sitting there with his cardboard sign. She hesitantly asked if it would be alright if she sat next to him. Her clothes were still cleaner than his and the few that had stopped had given the man their money rather than her, perhaps they assumed that she really didn’t need it. Just the way she had once assumed about the dozens of people she had passed once upon a time.
The homeless man began to pack up for the day and counted his change. He had made $10.35. “It was a good day,” he said with a smile. He took five dollars and gave it to Molly. She looked at him and cried. She thanked the man for his kindness. Molly took the five dollars to put some gas in her car and the next day drove to the welfare office. They were able to give her foodstamps and cash assistance. It was only $300.00 a month, and that wouldn’t pay her rent, but it was a start.
Molly got a motel room and cleaned herself up, she slept in a real bed for the first time in weeks. She knew that she couldn’t afford to every night, so she continued to sleep in her car every night except for the one time a week that she could go to the cheap motel and shower and clean her clothes. She saved as much money as she could and within a few weeks she did get a new job. It didn’t pay as much as her last but it was enough to get her into an apartment and allow her to start over. Within a couple of months she was back on her feet with some few changes. Her apartment now was much more modest and she had much more money saved in the bank.
She went to the street where she had once begged for money to see if the man that gave her the money was there, and indeed he was. His name was Joseph and he was just packing up for the day. She introduced herself and he remembered who she was. Joseph counted the money in his cup and said, “Twelve dollars today, it was a good day.” Molly started to weep for him. “Joseph, do you need a place to stay?” She asked him. He shook his head, “No, ma’am. I have a mighty fine tent nearby. It suits me just fine.” Molly realized that Joseph was probably accustomed to this type of life and she would be hard pressed to convince him otherwise. She instead handed him an envelope. “What is this for?” He asked.
Molly smiled at him, “You helped me when I couldn’t help myself. I just wanted to repay you.” Joseph tried to tell her it wasn’t necessary, while in his heart he knew that any amount of money would help. She insisted and inside he found a phone number and two hundred dollars. Joseph looked like he was in shock and with tears in his eyes, he thanked her. “If you need anything, this is my number. Just call me, ok?” Joseph shook his head and reached for her hand. “God bless you,” he said to her before walking away. Molly knew that God had taught her a very hard lesson, but it was a lesson learned indeed. Do not judge those whom you do not know. Fear stems from ignorance, and ignorance can land you in an unfavorable circumstance yourself.