Thursday, July 3, 2014

The gift of comfort from an unexpected source

"Hey," said the voice, as I walked by the table outside my favorite dining establishment in small town.  I braced myself as I turned to look at the person who belonged to the voice.  I was sure it was one of two types of people, someone from town who knew my family and wanted to offer their sympathy or one of the local homeless/down on their luck folks who occasionally ask for help.  Turned out to be both in one.

As I swung around, I looked into the eyes of R.  I've written about him before.  I smiled, as best I could, and said "Hey, how's it going," and there was this silence and a look in his eyes...then he got up and suddenly his arms were around me, holding me close as he whispered, "I'm sorry." 

I whispered back, in a very shaky voice, "Thank you, R.  Thank you."  After a moment, he stepped back and went back to his seat.  I smiled again, struggling to keep the tears at bay, and said "Thank you" again, before I turned and headed to my car.  I cried all the way home.  Shuddering sobs.  The gaping wound in my soul was opened again, but also someone unexpected but very welcomed.

I caught a glimpse, yet again, of the beauty of R's soul tonight, of the person behind the addictions, of the person behind the label "homeless".  I was given the gift of comfort from an unexpected source.  It's a gift I'm going to cherish for a long, long time on this journey of grief.

No comments: