Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Noel

Tweet earlier: I stink of alcohol. And blood. Not mine. Will explain later. Please pray for my new friend Noel. Thanks. :)

Walking home from the X51, I was heading to the 404 when I approached these three dark-skinned kids (you know the type, baseball caps, etc) around this older white man on the floor.

At first I thought they were beating him up, but one was offering his hand and another attempting to help him stand, which didn't quite make sense.
On asking what was going on, they said that they'd seen him collapse and were just trying to help him back up again.

Two community support officers (kinda like police backup but without much power) came up to us then, and they told me (I'm going to tell it you all in one bunch so you don't have to try and piece it together like I did) basically, that he'd been drinking (Noel claims he hasn't drunk all day, he's just on a hangover) and that he'd walked into a window earlier uptown, and that he'd been crashing into buildings and onto the floor ever since.
You should have seen him rolling around, sometimes walking with his upper body almost horizontal before he'd reel to the floor again.
I think something that hurt more than that were the people that were trying to help him, good humouredly laughing at him, teasing him about being drunk. He is someone that Christ died for. But then..He died for them too.

He was a pitiful sight...prematurely aged, he has grey hair sticking out all over his head and unkempt stubble on his face. He's wearing a red shirt...used to be bright red, but it's now engrained with grime and dirt. His jeans have stains and are also covered with dirt. He didn't smell of body odour but the smell wasn't pleasant.
His body was young, his carriage that of a drunk, his face old. I'd say roughly he was in his mid/late forties.

What (as usual) struck me the most was the expression of his eyes. The overwhelming expression had to be one of - emptiness. All the time, all the time I spoke to him...they were confused, and empty.


However, what was causing the boys and the CS officers the most alarm was the massive gash above his eye. It looked like he had been bleeding for hours, if not more than a day. Dried, brown blood covered the skin on the side of his face, and had matted his beard, eyebrow and eyelashes. Smears of it were streaked on his arms, stains covering his t-shirt, jeans and occasionally dripping onto the floor or his white trainers.

His speech was slurred like a drunk, but I didn't think his eyes weren't. (Having been drunk, I ought to know...) I thought it might be drugs, but Noel said he didn't take drugs. So - unsure.

The PCS officers told us that they'd been trying for a while to get him to go in an ambulance to hospital, but on hearing that, Noel said very loudly that he'd been in the hospital all morning and he just wanted to go home. Where did he live? they asked him. The Yew Tree estate - where I live. So he pulled away from the boys and reeled down the street. I followed rather tentatively. And sure again, outside another shop, almost parallel to the floor, he overbalanced and fell, striking his head off a wall.

By now, other people around the bus stops were asking if he was okay, trying to help him up, someone even phoning the ambulance.

The community support officers got him to sit down at the bus stop. I attempted rudimentary first aid, giving him tissues and telling him to press them to the wound and not to let go, but he would only hold it there for a few seconds and fold it over, reuse it and drop it to the pavement, stooping to pick it up if it started to bleed into his eye again.

We tried to persuade him to go to the ambulance, and then just to wait until one of them came to clean up his wound. When the paramedic came though and spoke to Noel, he explained that it was a bad cut and needed some stitches. Noel asked if he could do it there, and the paramedic replied no. At which point Noel just kind of shrugged and threw his hands in the air in a kind of "what's the point in going any further" expression. (Yes, OYANers, I know, he didn't REALLY throw his hands up.)

Poor man, he'd been trying to get on at least five buses while we tried to convince him to go to hospital. No buses would take him, though, and the PCSOs kept making him sit down.

On telling the paramedic once again he wasn't interested in going to hospital since he'd been there all day and had to wait five hours (no idea how long that cut has been bleeding), he wandered off and the PCSOs and I kind of gave up. I headed to the bus stop for the 404.

We'd got on the bus and were waiting for the final few passengers when Noel came out of the Piri-Piri chicken shop. He was walking a little more upright, so the rest had apparently done him some good. To get his bus fare, he slipped his sockless foot out of his right shoe...he kept all his money in his right shoe. I got him to sit down on the disability seats and stayed next to him.

That was when he opened up a little. Showed me the holes in his arm where they'd put the needle in earlier. He said they'd bandaged his head, but he had torn it off. He kept picking at his arms, trying to get the blood stains off. Again, as before, he would hold the tissue to his head and take it away. He'd got a roll of kitchen roll in his bag (paper towels) that I think he had been using. He dropped them on the floor of the bus, but picked them up and put them in the bag before he left. Which I was thankful for! :P

He asked me my name, what I did for a job and my phone number. (Since he thought I was kind.) I wrote it out for him and put my name, and on the reverse of the paper, I wrote "Jesus loves."

No matter whether he rings me or not, or texts or keeps in touch or whatever - the one important thing is that if he remembers me as being kind - I want him to know why. Because Jesus loves.


I know some people would criticise my giving my number out (and colleagues at work did, when I gave it to my tramp friend Chris) but I think that that's...not important. These people need to know...that Jesus loves.
Need an arm around their shoulder and no fear of the blood, the dirt, the smell.
They need a person to speak to, someone they know loves them anyway.
And that will love them anyway.

Because the one thing that changes time, changes minutes, changes days, changes years, changes pasts, changes futures, changes lives and changes eternity - is the eternal love of Jesus Christ.

Love He is. Love we must be to those around us.

So pray for Noel.
Pray that...no matter whether he remembers to call or not, that he will be okay. That someone will love him. And that he will be lead to Christ.
That he will remember and know that someone was kind, because Jesus loves.


In Christ,
~Mademoiselle Siân

(Written 13-04-12)