Not too long ago, I was walking down a street in the historic section of St. Augustine. I had been to a church there to witness a friend make his vows as a Companion of St. Francis.
Suddenly an urgent hello entered my space so clearly that I knew it was for me: “I know you!” The voice came from behind me, to my left.
I looked over to see a man, tanned with long gray hair pulled back, frayed cutoffs and a tank top. He was sitting on the edge of a planter, eating from a takeout container. His eyes shown with light.
I stepped over and took his hand. “And I know you. You’re Tree.” It meant something that I recalled his name.
Actually, he is one special person whom I would find hard to forget. A Native American friend from the street, who drops into Church Without Walls only rarely on Sunday, but who makes a habit of joining us at our Wednesday coffee fellowship when he is in downtown Jacksonville for medical appointments.
This beautiful man made my day. His presence and kind spirit have done more for me than I could ever do for him.
We live in wild, disconcerting times. It’s easy to get discouraged and lose hope.
It is in these seemingly chance encounters that we can find hope and new energy to keep on keeping on.
These moments of grace fill us with the joy of being known by another. And we have the opportunity, if we will pause to take it, to know those in our midst.