A Concrete Bed
Michaelâ€™s face touched the fringe of my heart again. A gentle, middle-aged, sullen man found on the streets of Long Beach from time to time.
A homeless man bearing a tattered, discolored blanket. A lost soul finding his way, much like me, actually. A brother with an enigmatic smile.
We served him hot chicken, bread & soda last winter. I nearly wept as he devoured his meal. It soiled his beard and hair â€“ it didnâ€™t seem to matter.
I miss Michael dearly. I miss all that I have yearned to talk to him about. I returned several nights in search of him. All that remained was a cold, forsaken concrete bench.
I just want to embrace him and offer my thanks. And give him all that I yearned to share:
Thank you. Thank you for serving me well. You are without home, yet you are not homeless. There are those who shelter you on benevolent wings of empathy and affection.
My gratitude. For you are attached to nothing. Not residence. Nor obligation. Nor possessions. You sense hunger; you thirst, yet you grasp at nothing.
Thank you for sharing that you are not a veiled, subhuman part of society. Jesus, himself was born â€˜without home.â€™ I can just imagine his parents, poor and exhausted, trudging from door-to-door, begging to be let in.
Yes, you do have a right to dignity and respect; forgive us for talking about you, instead of talking with you.
I miss you so much. I pray that you are content. I trust that you are comforted. Winter is approaching â€“ please draw that blanket closer to you. As you lay on your concrete bed tonight, remember, no man is alone who has friends.
I just hope I served you well.