I parked yesterday my bus at the foot of a church in Sibiu (Romania). At sunrise, opening my curtains, I saw you, dozing on a bench, curled up and in the greatest destitution. You were cold. My heart blew and I was deeply touched by your appearance. And then followed the questions: "Should I intervene? How to comfort you without shaking your precarious balance? I see you as a wounded sparrow asleep that I do not want to scare, even with a caress ... I spent enough years in the humanitarian to know how much help can sometimes serve those we have come to relieve. To give a good conscience should never prevail over the free will and the autonomy of those who are in need.
From my window, I look at you with tenderness while consulting my inner compass. I would like to help you without saving you. I would like to bring you a little joy without invading you, to send back your light without taking the little energy you have left. Give you hope without creating expectations. Show you your beauty without forcing you to love yourself.
After a few minutes, I decide to give the advantage to the present moment and to my heart. You are here in front of me. And I can not pretend I did not see you. So I'm waiting for you to wake up. Then I bring you hot coffee and a sugar loaf. Thanks to a few words of Italian, we manage to communicate a little. I do not ask you anything about your past. It does not matter. There is nothing to know, nothing to comment, nothing to judge. Always in the respect of your free will, I ask you if you agree to share a good meal later aboard Begoodee. "It's what you want," you say to me. I answer you that it's like "you, you want". Finally, you accept by shrugging your shoulders. You are exhausted. I see how making a decision costs you energy.
At noon, I prepared you grilled sausages and rösti that you eat without great appetite. You tell me that you have a stomach ache and that you are in poor health. You mainly eat bread that you buy with the few coins that passers-by have left you. Because you do not beg. Your precariousness has not stolen anything from your dignity. You tell me that you have been in the street for over a year, after you stole your money and your ID. You tell me that "the world is mean". I answer you that there is also a lot of goodness and that we must leave the past to the past; that salvation begins in our head, changing the nature of our thoughts. I try to explain to you that life gives us every moment the choice to give up or to get up. I also tell you that you are beautiful. You tell me that you do not believe in it and that life in the street has withered you.
I offer you a little lucky bracelet with this inscription drawn at random: "Live the present moment, you will understand after". I also give you a pair of jeans, a sweater for the winter, a pair of shoes and especially a small solar lamp to brighten your nights and give you some hope. You tell me that it takes up too much space in your bag and that it will be heavy to wear. You're right, sorry! I had forgotten that, like the snail, you carry your house with you, two little bags and an umbrella. So I dig deep into my supply of lamps and find a smaller one, the size of a jar of jam. It was made by someone who slipped a word inside: "If you fall, go back! ". He was destined for you! You sketch a shy smile. You accept it, skeptical.
With your agreement, we managed to get an appointment in the early evening with the president of a women's aid association in distress. In the meantime, you sleep all afternoon aboard Begoodee. But the President never came ... She explained to me by phone that, after consulting her lawyer, she can not do anything for you. His association deals only with young girls in difficulty. You have 50 years and you do not fit in the criteria anymore. She also says that you have to report to the police to make a theft declaration. What you say I have done for a long time, to no avail. I suggest you go back with me. The police station opens at 8h the next day. You answer me, always and again: "It's what you want. I think it is useless. "
Then I repeat to you gently, dear Minodora, it is you who must decide for your life. It is you who must want to give yourself a new chance. I'm trying to explain to you that it's not too late, that you can still find work. Personally, I still see in you some incandescent embers that are just waiting to be revived. But you tell me that your fire is completely extinguished.
While waiting to go to the police station, I invite you to spend a night in the comfort and safety aboard Begoodee. You arrange your modest business with slow, slow gestures. You have nothing but skin on your bones. You make yourself small so as not to disturb, you say. You make me understand that "even taking a shower asks you too much energy" but you managed to wash yourself and you even made my mini bathroom cleaner than before! You put on your clothes as worn and tired as you are and you crumple on the soft sheep skins of my seat.
While you sleep, I see a police patrol by the window. I leave the bus without making a sound and I go to meet them. I ask them where is the nearest police station to help a woman renew her ID. I also ask them what can I do for you? The police look at me surprised and frankly dubious. They tell me that there is nothing to do, that there are hundreds of thousands of people like you in Romania. They still give me the address of a police station nearby. I enter my bus with sadness. Then I watch you sleep ...
I think I guess why you got there. And why do you have so much trouble trying to get out of your situation? You feel shabby and helpless. You already feel screwed. Your health is ridding and you're resigned. You have no more friends, no more family. I even offered to take you to the hospital but you replied that "it is useless". I invited you to take back your power, not to let others decide for you. Once again, I bowed to your free will. How difficult it is for me to accept that a human is turning away from his light ... To reflect the beauty and value of a Man is the commitment of my whole life ...
When you wake up, Lovski came to lick your feet! We had another breakfast together. Without much conviction or motivation, you accepted that I accompany you to the police. They explained to you what they needed to redo your documents. You said you would come back. But I feel that you will not go back there anymore ...
I gave you my business card with my details just in case you wanted to contact me one day. Before hitting the road, I held you tightly against me, very moved. You remained neutral and silent. I do not know if our encounter will have changed anything in your life but whatever happens, it will have enriched mine.
I wonder if we should not grasp every situation we encounter on our way as an opportunity to love. Not as an opportunity to change the other and his destiny but simply to love him and his destiny, without trying to move a comma. Especially when he asks you nothing! This is the difference between "wanting to save the world" and "kissing him as he is", welcoming his shadows and lights with equanimity. The first energy starts from a place of injury or revolt; the second is rooted in trust and acceptance. Personally, it is this energy that I would like to feed the world.
Perhaps joy is hidden on this floor of consciousness. Where there is nothing to understand, nothing to change but to compassionately welcome "what is". Where we can reach out where we are asked to serve. It is perhaps in this selfless and pure love that we truly transform our reality and that of everyone. I do not know Minodora ... I think while writing you these words ...
I also realize that solidarity has its limits, that one can NOT and that one must NOT do anything against the free will of people. You can not help someone who does not truly and deeply want to be helped. You did not ask me to help you, Minodora. I know, I know, you do not even have the energy to desire anything for yourself anymore ... I hope with all my heart that I could give you some of mine, like a fresh and sparkling transfusion.
Dear Minodora, may the small light of your solar lamp and the "greater" protect you, enlighten you and accompany you wherever you are, you and all the homeless of our planet.
*Thank you for your trust, thank you for allowing me to publish these photos of you ...