He crawled through the opening where the plywood was flattened to the ground. From what used to be a place of business.
As he moved from his knees, glancing up and down the street, he stood straight up. Which put him right in front of my parked car.
He spoke to me through the windshield, but I couldn’t hear him. However, his lips moved, so I knew he said something.
He leaned toward the driver’s side of my car. And I started the engine, readying to leave, when I felt compelled to roll the window down.
He spoke again, “Are you watching me?”
“No. I just parked here.”
“No one parks here. These buildings are empty.”
“I know. I needed a few minutes to think.”
“Sorry then. I must be bothering you. I just thought you were watching me.”
“I did see where the board was ripped off. And I wondered if someone was sleeping in the building.”
“So you watched to see?”
“Kind of. But it was because I want to say hi to that person. To pray with him. Or her. To make a new friend.”
“So what did you have to think about?”
“I got a text that a homeless friend died and I was sad.”
“Yes. I hate for people to feel alone. I want them to find comfort in knowing Christ. To walk in victory.” I swallowed, “Do you feel alone?”
“What do you think? I was sleeping in there.” He pointed at the old retail store.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t meant to come off like that.” I turned off my car and got out. “So tell me about yourself.”
We sat on the curb and chatted the hour away. I learned his name. He learned mine. We prayed. We even laughed about how strange it was for me to stop by when I did.
So as I left, he said, “Thank you for staying. I guess it was me who was watching you.”
“No, I’m pretty sure God was watching each of us. And He knew we needed to talk and pray.”
“Could be. Watch for me again. And I’ll watch for you.”
“I sure will. See you soon.”
(Don’t you love that when you pause and stop, the Lord intervenes? But we must be ready to open the window. Or to get out of the car. To sit awhile. To listen. To care. And that’s what my new friend did for me. He listened to me! For it was I, who needed him!)