Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Good Samaritan

For those of you who don't know, Nathan has been riding his bike to work. One of our cars has mechanical issues, and instead of buying a new one Nathan chooses to ride his bike about a mile down to the bus stop where he hooks it onto the bus, and takes the bus down to the Sylmar Metrolink station. From there, he rides his bike nearly 2 miles to work (the irony in all of this is I work only a mile up the street, and I take the car). Nathan, who has always been a humanitarian and is studying sociology, finds the people he encounters on the bus intriguing and sadly dejected. He always comes home with a different story. Stories about people he saw, conversations he listened to, and people he avoided. He is walking in shoes may people will not get to, and he has learned a lot about himself and others.

Riding the bus is a time of reflection Nathan says. From the seat where he sits, and the way the setting sun shines into the bus, Nathan sees his reflection in the window across from him, but the interesting thing is, as his face reflects off the window, it is superimposed on the passing scenery--scenery of the ill-fated mobile home park that burned in the November fires, and the projects in the ghetto--and Nathan see himself, not only as hologram reflected upon these landscapes, but he can feel what it would be like to live the same reality others experience. It puts life in perspective.

Yesterday, when Nathan came home he quickly grabbed some old shoes he planned on throwing out, and an extra sweater he had lying about, and he rushed out again. They were for 19 year old boy named C.J. he met on the bus. C.J. lived nomadically and was trying to make his way up to San Francisco. C.J.'s parents were dead, and when the CPS wanted to put him in foster care he refused and began living on the streets. He was filthy, his bead grew wildly, he had dreadlocks and two black eyes from a fight he got in. Nathan had compassion and showed him kindness. Nathan said C.J. traveled with a band of bohemian kids who were just like him, and he made money playing his guitar (which he sadly lost). After getting off the bus, told him to wait at the gas station next to the bus stop where he gave him the sweater, shoes, 20 dollars, bought him a meal, and wished him well.

Late last night as Nathan solemnly said, "I hope that kid's okay..." I could sense he had been on his mind all day. The boy has a myspace which he gave to Nathan so he can find out if he makes it to San Francisco okay.

It is experiences like this that characterize my husband. He is a man who genuinely cares for the welfare of other, and those who are less fortunate. He is the kind of person who give the bum on the corner his extra change, and who aches when he doesn't have any to give; he is the person who gives a 19 year old boy the chance to live another day, and the person who wants to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate.

2 comments:

  1. my family grew up in the projects of pacoima and san fernando. my dad is one of two boys and one of 9 kids. raised by parents in a two bedroom house. i came from arleta and we had a good sized 3 bedroom house and large backyard. i was fortunate my parents worked hard to give us a good roof over our heads but i never forget where i came from and what my roots were. my grandma (my dads mom) came from a poor city in mexico and knew how to survive on little. Some people may not have been so lucky as us to have loving familys but when we can give them a hand then we are also looking out for our brothers and sisters as God intended.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, Melody. That is really neat that Nathan would do something like that. Thanks for sharing this post, not only so we all get to know Nathan a little better, but to remind us all that when we look outside ourselves, we can forget our own problems and help others instead.

    ReplyDelete

Please commet below with question and comment and I'll be sure to reply.