This question required some deep soul-searching and thought, but I finally decided on the one thing I would do to make our world a better place if money and time were not barriers.

Martie stared outside her twelfth-story office window at the busy street below. Next to mounds of trash piled on the sidewalks, homeless people huddled close to the buildings for warmth and settled in for another cold, long night in a city that never sleeps.

She murmured to herself, “If only I could fix this one blight on the face of humanity.”

After all, only three short months ago, she was among those searching for shelter and food.

Tears wet her face as she watched an old lady with a three-legged dog vie for a small open spot next to the high-rise office building.

She took a closer look. “Helen?” A flash of memory drew a sharp gasp. The night she shared a bite of food with the old woman, who then shared it with the hound, now seemed like a hundred years ago. And yet, there Helen was, still alive, still on the streets, and still struggling to survive. When would the madness end?

Martie brushed away the tears, sucked in a deep breath, and returned to her desk.

She stared at the neat stack of papers waiting for her to process. It would be a while before her workday could end. She swiped a weary hand across her forehead.

At least she had a home to go to, even if it was nothing more than a small apartment. Memories of a big house full of life and laughter flitted by. That was another lifetime, before the collapse of everything she’d known; before greedy politicians and bureaucrats took everything from them.

The computer screen reflected off the shiny desk surface as her fingers flew across the keyboard. She needed this job. It was the one fragment of security she had left. She’d stay until she finished.

The building grew eerily quiet as workers headed home.

Hours flew by, and still, she worked.

“Maybe if I rest for an hour or two, I can gather enough energy to finish this project,” Martie said to the empty office.

She pushed back from the desk, stood, and stretched aching muscles. She reached for her sweater hanging on the back of her chair and rolled it into a ball that would substitute for a pillow.

With one more look outside at the mass of people gathered below, she curled up against the wall and fell sound asleep.

“Martie! Martie! Wake up!” An insistent voice brought her to her feet.

“What?” Disoriented, she shielded her eyes from a brilliant golden white light that filled the drab office space.

“Don’t be afraid.” The voice echoed as if it came from inside a long tunnel.

“Who are you? How did you get in here? What do you want?” Her heart pounded as she calculated the distance to the door.

“You have been chosen.”

“Chosen? Chosen for what?” she stammered.

“The sincerity of your heart and your wish as you gazed down at the homeless mass has been noted. I am here to grant that wish.”

She shook her head. “I’m confused. Am I dreaming?”

“Perhaps. After all, what is a dream, but a journey to another dimension of place and time?”

“Okay. I’ll play along. How am I going to help those people?”

“Once I am gone, it will all become clear, and you, dear one, will have your wish granted. Have faith and never lose sight of your purpose.”

With that, the light faded into the wall.

Martie stared until only the drab gray wall remained.

What did it all mean?


Two weeks later, Martie sat across the desk from a balding attorney who tended to chew on the end of his pen.

“This is the last signature.” He pointed to a line on a document.

She held her breath and scrawled her name.

“Okay. The funds will be transferred to your bank before the end of the day.” The lawyer leaned back in a squeaking chair. “I’m just curious. What are you going to do with all this money?”

Martie smiled. “I’m going to help some folks.”

And she did. Not only did she build community centers and apartments, but also covered acres of unused land with tiny houses for the homeless. She personally saw to every detail, every application, and every move-in.

Never had she felt so fulfilled. As word of her endeavor spread across the country, corporations got involved by donating millions, and the dynamics of cities, big and small, changed everywhere.


Archangel Michael knelt in the presence of the Almighty. “It is done, my Lord. She was the right one. She has not let greed enter into her heart, and millions are suffering less because of her vision.”

God smiled.

So, if I had all the time and money in the world, I would be Martie. I would try my best to get homeless people into a safe and secure environment and off the streets. Of course, I am under no delusion that every homeless person would want to participate, but it has been proven in cities across the United States, that if given a chance, they do want a shelter over their heads.

Thank you for joining us on this RWISA Rise-up Blog Tour! By keeping love in our hearts and remaining positive, we can change the world one smile at a time!

~RWISA Author, Jan Sikes


Thank you for dropping by today’s RWISA “RISE-UP” stop.  We hope that the message contained here has moved you in some way to RISE UP and do something; one small change could impact the life of another without you even knowing it.  Don’t just sit around talking about the problem, be part of the solution.  It doesn’t take much when you decide that you are going to RISE UP!

Click HERE to follow along with the rest of the tour.


Add yours →

  1. Thanks Jan, Yes, what a wonderful thing if the world could become free of greed and this you showed is possible in the thought-provoking story of Martie and her kindness displayed to others – especially the homeless – such a tragic, earth wide situation. Kind regards, and please accept my apologies for only getting to read this lovely story now. Maretha Botha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Martie’s story. I had chills while reading! Such a beautiful example of how we all should be, what we should all strive for. A better community, a better world. Thank you for sharing this with us, Jan!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done, Jan. I live close to a community of 6,000 people and there are homeless people even in this small town. Our winters are extremely cold and in the larger cities, the homeless have died from hypothermia. I applaud your decision to help those who suffer in this way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mark. It is a problem that I have had an acute awareness of since I first read Suzanne Burke’s (Stacey Danson) book, “Empty Chairs.” That opened my eyes to the “inside” story and broke my heart. I appreciate your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this, Jan. Such a beautifully inspiring start to the day. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Jan. Great story and exactly what I expected from you. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yvette M. Calleiro November 14, 2019 — 12:06 am

    Martie’s kindness brought me to happy tears. 🙂 I want to be Martie, too. I sometimes wish that those who have so much would realize how little worth their materialistic items have. I wish they would see how rich they could be if they were to use their millions to help others, especially the homeless. I am grateful that I was not raised in a wealthy environment. I live within my means. I help others as often as I can. I sponsor a club at my school to teach students to love serving their communities. I just wish our societies would have more love in their hearts and share that love with everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yvette, you are making a difference, affecting young lives and teaching them. I agree that the wealthy put so much value on their money and possessions and yet they cannot take one single thing with them when they leave this body. I often wish I had money just so I could help others. I probably wouldn’t have it long. 🙂 Thank you for your awesome comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. peggyhattendorfcom November 13, 2019 — 11:07 pm

    This is a touching and poignant piece about a tragic situation defining our culture. Thanks, Jan.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A touching piece, Jan. You would make a perfect Martie.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jan, this was a very moving story that brought tears to my eyes. Just as everyone has said in their comments homelessness is a problem that should not exist. Thank you for your message in a well-written story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Karen. It truly breaks my heart and especially as the cold weather moved in. If I hadn’t read Suzanne Burke’s book, “Empty Chairs,” I could not even begin to imagine the reality and the struggle. I appreciate your comment.


  10. Thank you for this moving piece, Jan. I smiled through tears as I read it. I could never have made it alone on the streets. It’s because of caring people such as yourself that I was finally able to move forward. I’m eternally grateful for that. It breaks my heart to find that even though almost five decades have passed since those dark days, the homeless situation has worsened. How can that be possible? It’s posts such as these that may help the blindfolds many folks are wearing disappear.’ United we stand and divided we fall, it’s a great old song, my friend.💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Soooz, your book, “Empty Chairs,” opened my eyes to the inside world of the homeless. Because of the reviews, I know it has touched many, as it did me. I agree that it is heartbreaking that after five decades, it’s worse and not better. That says a lot about us as a society of humans. Thank you for your comment. I appreciate you and admire you greatly!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent, Jan. A worthy goal is to do something about the homeless in our country. Here in California, there are more homeless than almost anywhere else in the U.S. This should not be happening in the world’s wealthiest nation. Sadly, too many public officials seem to be encouraging it with their sanctuary city policies that are essentially beacons in a storm to those who are homeless. I am particularly angry about the thousands of veterans who are homeless and living under bridges, etc. Of all the people in our nation who should NOT be homeless, it is the men and women who served our country in the military.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I totally agree with you, Ron. It is heartbreaking that there are homeless people at all in our country, but especially our veterans. It is a huge injustice and is wrong on every level. I appreciate your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks, Jan, I hope we can all join together and make the world better by one smile at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on Writing and Music and commented:
    I am up today on the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour! Please take a look. The theme is “What would you do to make the world a better place if time and money were not barriers?”


  14. Well done, Jan. Homelessness is a plague on all of us. I’m so glad our governor has stepped in and put Austin on notice that the liberal live and let live policies of the city government will not be tolerated when it comes to the suffering of the homeless. He is forcing the city to build or buy housing for these suffering people. He is also using state agencies to clean up the filth and increase security against crime that is a by-product of homelessness.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. D.L. Finn, Author November 13, 2019 — 5:11 pm

    I love this, Jan! Showing us through fiction gave a complete story and background on Martie’s pure heart and the well-deserved intervention. I hold on to the hope this does happen. Beautiful. Jan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too, Denise! It breaks my heart. I paid for a hotel room for a homeless man last night because I couldn’t stand the thought of him being out in the cold. But, that’s just one person and there are thousands. Thank you for your comment! Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

      • D.L. Finn, Author November 13, 2019 — 9:20 pm

        Thank you for doing that, Jan! If everyone did something like that it will chip away at this problem. No one should be homeless we have more than enough to share.

        Liked by 2 people

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