My friend obliged on both counts, giving his new friend a Bible, and inviting him to his parish and arranging a time that the gentleman could talk with the Priest. There was a comfortableness growing between both parties and each morning they looked for each other so they could greet them and wish their new friends ‘a good day’ knowing they would meet again the following morning. This had become a pattern for my friend and his wife and getting up at 4 am was not a hardship for them.
Feeling more comfortable the gentleman made his way to the Parish and spoke with the Priest a couple more times. An unexpected thing happened for my friends. On a morning as usual they went to the subway station ‘cards in hand’ only to be told their friend died in the night. There was not any further information given. Imagine the sadness of my friends and the shock they are continuing to live with.
As my friends told me this story, I couldn’t help but think ‘you took a chance with a stranger” and it changed your lives. This homeless man had received respect and concern from them, and they granted his last wishes for a Bible and a meeting with the Priest. There is a mystery here of God working within us if we but take a chance and engage with folks we meet on our streets each day.
I read a recent quote from Mirabai Starr: