14th. at K Street, Washington, DC
The rain from the 3:00 AM storm had washed most of the smaller stuff from the benches and sidewalks of the square. The odor from the night before had changed; the smell was fresher, not so filled with urine and human body odor.
About half of the benches had already been claimed by the sometime and maybe most of the time homeless who in all probability considered this small park their home. The shopping buggies of other years have for the most part given way to backpacks, and wheeled luggage carries. They put these items on the benches and leave them as they make their rounds to the dumpsters in the area checking to see what the restaurants and residents have thrown away during the night.
Most of the residents of this square are black, maybe three whites out of a total count of some 25 about seven or eight women, the rest males. As I sit and read my bible waiting for Carole to get ready for church they leave me alone. They watch me, I think they are not sure just why I picked this place to sit and read.
The hotel doorman said some might ask for money even though they knew it was against the law, but he felt that for the most part they were safe. One had two back packs and two wheeled luggage carries; he also had a large piece of plastic that looked as if he might use it for protection from the rain. Even the homeless have the different levels of life. A couple looked like they might be veterans, the rest you really couldn’t tell, nothing of the past that had once been strength remained.
I had to wonder as I watched them what turn of time put them in Franklin Square. You would not think that anyone would choose to live there, to make that home, but there they were two dozen souls scattered by the early morning storm and now back to claim their ‘section’ for a new day.
I wonder if they dreamed of better days, better places, better protection from the breaking heat of the day and the unexpected storms of the night. Here we are living in the greatest land in the entire world and on a square in our Nations City; souls claim park benches as their section of life.
I thanked God that time had not turned for me as it had turn for them, and then I asked God to burden the heart of someone to discover an answer and solve the problem.