I have been thinking about the homeless man in NYC who got killed while helping a lady who was getting mugged. People walked past him for more than an hour while he laid there either already dead or dying. No one offered to help! This has disturbed me so badly. I was watching a psychologist talk about it on TV and she said they have a name for this. Basically people don’t see the situation as alarming and so they don’t stop to help. She stated that possibly people could tell he was homeless, they have become immune to seeing the homeless, and so they just thought he was lying there. No attention needed.
May I never become immune to seeing or feeling for the homeless. Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I know that people in NYC see a lot more homeless than we do. I know many homeless people “hit” on these people daily, wanting money, etc. I understand. I saw and experienced this first hand in Beijing, China. However, I truly hope that I don’t become calloused when it comes to feeling for others.
So, as I said, I have been thinking about this. This poor man helped a woman get away from a mugger and was killed in cold blood. No one helped. Why? Because he was stereotyped as a “just another homeless man”. He was expected to be lying on the street. No one saw anything wrong in that. However, if it had been a man lying there in a business suit, people would’ve done something.
Have you ever been stereotyped by people? I have. And it stinks! It took me years to get over things people had said about me when I was younger. Years! Do you stereotype others? If you do, please stop! It hurts more than you know. The only thing that matters is what God says about you. And He says that He loves you. So much that He sent His son to die in your place.
I pray that this homeless man knew Jesus as his personal savior. I pray that he will be remembered, not for being just a number; a homeless number on the street. No, I pray he will be remembered for his bravery, for the honor that he showed when he helped the lady in trouble. I pray that people will now look around them and care about what they are seeing. Whether in a suit or in used, dirty clothes, all are people and deserve respect and love. It’s what we are called to do.