by Christopher Mudiappahpillai

Winter brings many changes to UofT’s St.George Campus. Unfortunately, being here everyday means that they are so gradual that one seldom notices.

Most of the hotdog vendors – the Crazy Hotdog Lady included – close shop for the winter; the few that remain bring with them portable heaters to keep warm. The catering trucks and wagons – being better equipped to meet what the elements may afford – are still here, often till ten or even eleven o’clock at night.

The campus is very different at night, and even more so now that the cold season is upon us. Faces, friendly or not, are sparse. The only thought that comes to mind after a class is of the subway station and how quickly the one or two city blocks that stand between you and a warm ride home can be traversed.

But almost without fail, as you walk north towards the intersection of St. George and Bloor, you will see a homeless person – hand outstretched – soliciting passers-by. But like the gradual changing of the seasons, they too seem to be often unnoticed. They are unfortunately, a part of the scenery; ever present, but unseen if not looked for.

I often think that I would like to change the world – perhaps my name will be a household word one day. But really, what is all that if I am not willing to do something to change the life of the nameless person that sits at that street corner?

I think I just passed Jesus by.

Not Too Far From Here

Ty Lacy & Steve Siler

Somebody’s down to their last dime

Somebody’s running out of time

Not too far from here

Somebody’s got nowhere else to go

Somebody needs a little hope

Not too far from here

And I may not know their names

But I’m praying just the same

That you’ll use me Lord to wipe away a tear

‘Cause somebody’s crying

Not too far from here

Somebody’s troubled and confused

Somebody’s got nothing left to lose

Not too far from here

Somebody’s forgotten how to trust

Somebody’s dying for love

Not too far from here

It may be a stranger’s face

But I’m praying for your grace

To move in me and take away the fear

‘Cause somebody’s hurting

Not too far from here

Help me Lord not to turn away from pain

Help me not to rest while those around me weep

Give me your strength and compassion

When somebody finds the road of life too steep

Now I’m letting down my guard

and I’m opening my heart

Help me speak your love to every needful ear

Jesus is waiting

Not too far from here

© 1993 Shepherd’s Fold Music / Ariose Music (Administered by EMI Christian Music Publishing)