So yesterday, I went out with the Hartford homeless outreach team, which included my old friend Dave “Big Dave Vega” Duverger, and my new 82nd Airborne Ranger friend, Carlos Martinez, who served in Vietnam about the same time as did my father.
Things were unusually busy, but in addition to climbing beneath bridges, we were stopping people on the street who were pushing shopping carts full of cans and bottles. That included Sister Butler, a woman of an uncertain age who promised to make me a peach pie.
I love peach pie.
Pictured above is Paul. He said that we’d interrupted his morning devotional when we walked up with blankets, gift bags and backpacks at his flop beneath a bridge. By “flop” I mean a bare mattress covered with blankets. And there Paul sat, beaming, next to someone he said was named Noel — fitting, right? — but Noel didn’t roust while we were there, so we covered him with a blanket and left bags for him.
Paul, too, was of an uncertain age, and he was talkative. God woke him up this morning, he said, gently, like a light touch on the thigh. And God told him life is wonderful. God is good, he said.