Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Later Evening Encounter

I was pausing in my late ride beside the church, when a woman who was dressed warmly in a long coat with a white scarf encircling her eye-glasses and soft black face smiled at me.

“What is that you’re doing?” she asked me.

I explained about my scooter-sailing.

“Do you have a home? Do you need a place to stay?”

(It took me a while but “Oh my god,” I thought. “She thinks I’m homeless.”)

“Oh, that’s okay. I have a home.”

“Do you want something to eat. I have a sandwich. Maybe you’d like a sandwich.” she pointed to her bag.

“Oh, no thanks. I’m okay. But, you are so kind to ask me and to offer me. God bless you, my sister.” I smiled and went on.

I watched from a distance, but she proceeded to pass through the church’s colonnade where the homeless people were starting to bed themselves for the night, with several blankets and their belongings around them. She stopped at each one and bent down to speak and listen.

There, in the soft light surrounded by the darkened plaza, this angel of compassion was seeking out the poorest of the poor, the one most in need.

Through this tunnel of arches she continued to pass from one to another.

The carved saints along the upper facade of the church were lit, revealing their watchful gaze on everything below.

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