As I turned the corner at the end of my block yesterday on my way to church, I spotted a man just up the street.
As I drew closer, I realized that he was homeless. In fact, he had pushed his "home"--a converted baby stroller now outfitted to carry every possession he owned--over to the curbside under a small tree.
He was almost down on one knee, as he bent over, focused on one side of his bundle of possessions.
When I drove on by him, I could see what was going on.
He peered into a small shaving mirror attached to the side of his stroller. There at the curb, without water or soap, my neighbor was shaving his face.
He took great care. He was so intent about the job before him that my passing did not distract him.
I thought about him all day yesterday.
Here is a man with almost nothing from a material standpoint. I am sure many would write him off as mentally unstable, incorrigible in any number of ways, etc., etc., etc.
But, I didn't see him that way at all.
I saw a very poor man living on the streets, likely for a myriad of reasons--some his fault, many others completely out of his control.
Yet, he was still doing his best with what he had. He wanted to shave, to clean up a bit, to put his best foot forward or, in this case, face!
I know that I really can't know.
But when I see him again, and I will, that's just the way it works around here; I will attempt to get acquainted.
December 8, 2013–second Sunday in Advent
14 hours ago