Tuesday, August 16, 2016
All is grace
A homeless man hangs out at a Starbucks in the city. Asleep on a bench in layers of clothing seemingly oblivious to the August heat. He sits up. People are around him sipping coffee, using the free WiFi, reading a book before a class at school. He surveys the area, invisible. Middle aged with a full beard he has not showered in a while. He is almost six feet tall and weighs close to 180 although he looks more stout because of the thick clothes he wears. Standing up he puts his hand in his pocket counting his coins. Still short of change enough to get a cup of coffee. He loves coffee but there won't be any today unless he is lucky. A man walks by heading into the coffee shop. Dressed in shorts, t-shirt and a baseball cap he looks like a lot of people the homeless guy sees in a day. Looking up, he mumbles, can you help me, you know a few pennies so I can get a cup of coffee. Surprisingly, the man hears and turns, smiles and says, I sure can. Come on, I will buy you a coffee and something to eat. What do you want, he asks the homeless man as they enter Starbucks. Amid interested glances from those seated inside they join the morning line up. I'll have that he says pointing to a sausage, egg and cheddar muffin sandwich. What will you have the barista asks the man in shorts and t-shirt? Just a coffee. And, what about him? Ask him, he knows. That sandwich he says pointing and coffee, black. What size? The question stumps him. Just like mine, the man in shorts says. He stands there waiting. It'll be down at the end of the counter the barista says, in a minute. The two men wait together. They take their drinks and food outside and sit on the bench talking for a few minutes. Then the man in shorts says good bye and walks off feeling like he has been in church.