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Conflicted

This evening I was yelled at, followed, and cursed at by a homeless man on the streets of Miami Beach. It wasn’t as fun as it sounds. But it wasn’t as scary as it could’ve been. I was with two guys, so I was pretty sure this guy wouldn’t actually attack us. We’re here for work, and had just left dinner when this guy asked us for money. One guy in my group said, “I’m sorry…” And we kept walking. Not an uncommon response, I would think.

Well, as we kept walking, this guy starts following us – yelling that we are obviously not Christians, that we don’t believe in God, that we are f$&king horrible and he hopes we f$&king die, and that he is going to steal something and he hopes he goes to jail. I never turned around, because I didn’t want to know how close he was to us. I was very surprised that he did this, as there were lots of people on the street, continuing to walk by him. I’m not sure what particularly set us apart from everyone else…but the fact that he kept following us was starting to make me nervous. Finally, he stopped.

But even after all of that, I can’t say I don’t feel a little guilty. I don’t really know what’s best in that situation. I am apprehensive about giving money directly to someone…should I not be? I don’t want to just ignore someone who needs help, but … I’m conflicted.

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