My beautiful friend Bunny
Last Thursday, something wonderful happened. I got to see my friend Bunny again.
When I first started going to "the Corner," I didn't know what I know now: sometimes you fall in love with a beautiful person and you never get to see them again. I thought Bunny might be one of those people. She was my first homeless friend.
Bunny lived in the field to the north of the Corner and her husband Charles stayed at the shelter nearby. For the first several weeks I was there, Bunny was nice but sort-of standoffish. Then, perhaps when she realized I was going to keep coming, we started becoming friends. We started sharing stories and learning about each other.
Bunny and Charles were on the street because Charles has a medical issue that can't be operated on until May 2014. His medical issue came up over 6 months ago, but he wasn't able to be scheduled for surgery until a year after he first saw the doctors. Because of that, Charles could no longer do manual labor, therefore he could not work. In no time, he and Bunny were on the streets.
She lived in the field rather than the shelter because the shelter could be a bad environment for her. People weren't always nice and she didn't always feel safe. She preferred her "spot" in the field. She kept it clean by sweeping it every day, picking up trash around her area, and making up her bed every morning.
I couldn't believe it. Bunny lives in a tent, yet she cleans the dirt around her to make the place hospitable, a place of pride. Some people don't even care that much for their homes. She has little to her name and yet she is infusing dignity into the world around her.
One time, after the shelter had kicked a lot of people out, including those with physical disabilities, a horrible storm rolled in. Bunny was scrambling to get to her tent and saw a woman in a wheelchair trying to move herself towards the trees for cover. This woman's chair lost its grip, and spun out of control, plunging woman face first into a pool of water. She was stuck, with no strength to push herself up out of the water that was getting deeper by the second.
Bunny stopped to help her. The chair was broken, so Bunny (a tiny woman, as you can see) literally pulled her along the ground to her tent for safety.
It almost goes without saying, but she was The Good Samaritan. You know, the outcast of society stopping to help the person bleeding on the roadway. All of the rich, comfortable, "in" crowd passed by, but the outcast, the Samaritan stopped.
I'm sure you can see now why I love this woman. How I learn from her! I learn about taking pride in whatever God has given me, even if it's just a little bit, and loving to make the world a little more beautiful, and then I learn what is the hardest to learn: stopping to help a sister in dire circumstances, even when it means I'll get soaking wet. I do hope I would make the same decision as she did that stormy night.