He barely looked up from under the king sized bedspread that covered and contained his life.
I approached him in our service center to extend my hand in welcome and concern.
He didn't move.
He didn't want my hand.
He was not angry.
He was rightfully bewildered by my foolish question, "How are you doing?"
"How are you doing?" Any fool could see how he was "doing."
It took every bit of what little he had left to reply to my nonsensical inquiry, "Man, I'm doing the best I can."
His answer yanked me back to my childhood. His retort reminded me of my dad's words whenever I faced a challenge, "Son, just do your best."
At times, my father's open ended advice didn't help. I mean, what was "my best?" Kind of a moving target often and actually!
But my best or my effort at my best proved satisfactory at the end of the day, often because of my dad's support and cheering from the sidelines. My best was enough, many times more than enough with him.
My exhausted friend hiding under the bedspread should have known my father. His best would have been enough for my dad on that day, at that time.
That evaluation should guide us in our response to him and thousands like him. Far too often it does not.
Face-to-face with this man, I saw mostly sadness, deep sadness in the life of a man who had given up on life, even as he did his best.