Last week I was shopping at Foo- Li- by New Life Theological Seminary. I went there to get some, class refreshments for my late night class. After I placed the items in my truck, I saw a young man and a young woman (with long hair and with a lot of makeup wearing very, very short shorts with her backside showing plainly). The young man continued walking on one side of the street, but he motioned for the young woman to cross the street to where I was standing by my truck.
I spoke to the young woman and asked her why she dressed so dangerously inappropriately out on the mean streets of Charlotte. She had left herself open to molestation and negative comments from passerbys. She did not respond; she looked confused. She begged me for money, which I did not have. I only had my debit card from Bank of America. I looked carefully at her to see how old she was, and then I saw she was a he, dressed as a girl. She looked scared, when she saw the young man coming across the street.
“Who is that?” I asked.
"My boyfriend,” she responded.
“He does not love you if he is allowing you to dress like that and beg for money on the streets. (She put her head down and started to cry.) Jesus loves you. Give me your telephone number or an email address, and I will get in touch with someone to meet you and take you away from here.” She shook her head and walked quickly away.
I walked right up to the young man. “Why do you allow her/ him to walk the streets dressed like a prostitute?”
“I don’t know her,” he lied.
Later, he responded, “She can dress anyway she wants.”
Then much later, “Why are you coming down on me like that?” I told him that I am a student at NLTS, and I am studying to become a pastor. I had to say something to the both of them.
“Okay, pastor,” he addressed me, “you don’t know. I just got out of prison. I'm a felon. I went to the church. They can’t help me. I can’t get a job because of my prison record. All right, I used to sell drugs.”
He begged me for money. He reminded me that I was supposed to give to the needy according to the Bible.
I told him about Urban Ministry Center on College and Tryon Street. It helps homeless people.
I urged him to speak to a pastor, for he would help both of them.
“There are numerous churches; go there for help.”
He said that he would.
The next time I had class I looked for them to share my class refreshments. Instead, I saw a homeless man begging in front of Foo- Li-, so I gave him a pack of peanut butter cookies and a bottle of water, flavored with lemon. He mumbled something and walked away.