Dancing with a Homeless Man

It is a cold November morning on the streets of Boulder Colorado.  My wife and I find ourselves welling with compassion.  We see a homeless man begging on the streets outside the local starbucks.  We pass him at first.  But a sense of concern comes bubbling up.  We turn back, invite him in for some breakfast with us.  His is a likely story.  He needs money for bus tickets to see his parents.  As we share ourselves with this man, I can’t help but notice his shirt.  It reads, “John 316”.  I say, “Where did you get that shirt?”  He replies, “somewhere.  I don’t know.”  “Do you know that is a reference to the Bible?”  My wife happens to have her bible on her.  We open it, share its message with the young man and give him the book.  As we are leaving, I wad up a 50 dollar bill inside some ones.  “This is all I have,” I say.  Who knows when he found the 50 or what he used it for.  I sense in that moment a rightness about life, that we are doing something that matters to God who was mysteriously present with this man even before we arrived.

I suspect I need to continually make room in my life for encounters like these and hope that if I ever find myself on the streets I would have the grace to be patronized by a young privileged couple discovering the world.   Why did we do it?  Perhaps out of some half-selfish motive.  But as I look back on it know, I see it may have been full of right inspirations as three beloved children of God experienced the fingerprints of the creator networking us together in a sacred dance of transformation.

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