I unwittingly went to prayer night at church. I went because I thought there were no church services and – let’s be honest here – my husband had been in the mountains for days. I needed a quiet place to regain my sanity. Church is always that for me. Prayer night ended up being so peaceful and soul lifting and weight lifting. If not by accident, I might not have gone otherwise.
The last prayer of the night was posed in this way: ask God for the big things you think are too big to ask for. He can handle it. God can do big things. This plays on my hamster wheel, in my head, constant conversation about big and small; abundance and scarcity.
I’ve been fixated for so long on the following: the corner I started driving by in the summer. The corner where the white bucket usually sits near the street. The corner where the man sits atop the bucket with a sign and a cigarette asking for anything that may help.
I think about him almost every day. The tall man with the hoodie and knit hat. The man that only sometimes smiles. The man who looks casual and really busy all at the same time. I look for clues to his existence off the corner. I watch for people who hand things to him. I watch for people who are familiar to him and who sometimes join his vigil. I try to make eye contact with him but he never looks my way. Ever. I suspect he lives in the trailer in the parking lot across from the corner. I see his igloo coolers, and port a potty. I wonder if I have anything that may help.
I think about that almost every day. If I have anything that may help. Him or others. At prayer night I was inspired to ask for the big thing. I asked if I could know what was the anything I have that may help. I got it in my head and my heart to bring a meal, or leftovers, a fruit, or something and hand it to him. It was small, but also my abundance. It was something I could offer a little but often. So I packed a bowl of soup, a chunk of bread an apple and a plastic spoon. I got butterflies in my stomach. I thought about what I would say. I would have to stop traffic. I would roll down the window. I would ask if this was ok. I turned the corner and he wasn’t there. I worried a little. The next day I headed towards the corner with a bit of extra breakfast and a plastic spoon. I made a tiny little shout out to God to say let me help if he needs it. I got butterflies in my stomach. And then I saw him. For the first time in a year I watched him drive right past me; past his corner. In a work truck. With brand new, fluorescent work clothes – a new hat and coat.
It didn’t end up being a meal or eye contact or anything that I had to offer. That crazy prayer night sure helped, though.
This post was originally published on the blog sweet pea and beans.