“I had to lose everything to realize what I truly had. Being homeless gave me light. I thank God for that.” These are the humble words of a man who lost his career, home, and family. It wasn’t gambling, drugs, or alcohol. All it took was a simple disease to take everything he loved from his life.
Junga is a victim of Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease of the digestive tract. We’ve all experienced some type of abdominal pain. If you haven’t, imagine your stomach being gripped firmly by hands filled with glass, stretching from every angle like some form of clay. Crohn’s disease may feel one-hundred times worse, and as Junga shared his condition I was completely sympathetic. One can only imagine how it must feel to lose everything due to something so unpredictable.
Work was a struggle, and being continuously hospitalized caused him to lose his job. This resulted in the lost of his home, wife, and two daughters. It has been over two years since he last saw his daughters. It has been over two years since he last had a home, yet his aurora and the light in his heart shines brighter than the stars amongst the heavens.
How can a man who lost his health still smile? How can a man who lost his home and family not grieve, not cry himself to sleep, not hate the very existence of his life? Why isn’t he angry, and how does the acceptance in his blood flow perfectly through his veins, heart, soul, and spirit? I don’t know how. I know I would grow weak, my legs would tremble with each step I take, hands rapidly shaking as I try to support my stomach in pain, bowing over as I accept my defeat to my illness. Not Junga. He stands tall, greeting and waving at each speeding car that passes him by. I watched his kindness and was disgusted by those who ignored, disrespected, judged, and assaulted him. To those who were kind enough to give, I watched nothing but gratitude sparkle in his eyes. Never greedy, but always grateful.
Junga taught me a valuable lesson. Never give up, and what we go through in life is either suppose to teach us a lesson or make us stronger. Hopefully we get the lesson the first time, because if we don’t we’ll simply keep experiencing simular situations in life.
“Before I was homeless I use to judge those living in the streets. I assumed they were bums too lazy to find a job. Now that I’m homeless, I understand we’re all here for a different reason. Life happens, I’m just blessed to still be alive” ~ Junga