His teeth were oozing green and brown. He had holes forming throughout his teeth, gums were red, some teeth completely missing. The foam collected in the corners of his mouth, yellow and thick; it resembled banana pudding mixed with whipped cream.
His hair was oily and uncombed. One could see the large flakes forming on his skull if they looked hard enough. His skin, much like his hair. Dry and crusty in some places, oily with ooze in others. If you took a deep breath you could smell the infection permeating from his body.
His clothing, patched and worn. Holes and shredded fabric draped him in rags. The material was a smorgasbord for moths and mites. Oily spots covered the cloth, mixed with dirt and thick grime. His shoes were creased and part of the soul was flopping every time he took a step.
His fingernails- stained yellow, were rough, dirt gathered underneath. His big toe was visible while his shoes were on. His toenail was broken in half, down the center. It was growing inside and the infection was noticeable to the untrained eye.
He was callous and mean. He griped a lot and didn’t appear to appreciate much. He despised holidays and grunted every time someone said, ‘hello’ to him.
He pushed the cart through the cold and refused any type of handouts. Whatever cards he’s been dealt he’s accepted wholeheartedly. His trust was limited and his patience was bare. People abused him and because of that he ran out of empathy for society.
I run into a person that fits this description, daily. In many shapes, forms, and sizes. And while society tends to avoid people of this description, I know many people who embrace them. They show them that love is pure and good. They show them the value of life. That each person has a purpose, a reason for existence and a life worth living.
It doesn’t take a social worker to change a life. It takes a heart.