16th Street Angel

The other day I drove down 16th street.  It’s a main road in my town.  As I passed one of the many dollar stores I saw a man perched up on a ledge.  I didn’t know him but he was familiar.  The many bags, old bicycle and small trailer attached to it was not something I hadn’t seen before.

He was homeless.

But he wasn’t pan handling, sleeping or visiting with the other homeless in the area.

He was waving.

Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 1.15.35 PMAs I drove by I noticed they heavy layers of clothes he was wearing.  It was 70 degrees outside.  He didn’t seem to mind.  He was too busy waving at every car that drove by yelling Happy Birthday!

Some people saw him and waved back, others didn’t even notice. That didn’t matter, he waved and celebrated anyway.  He did not require a response.  He gave out his well wishes willingly and without condition.

He wasn’t asking for anything.

He was giving. 

He gave the best of what he had to offer.  A loving gesture of wellness to each one who received it. A warm exchange of eye contact. He saw my face (and every person who looked at him) validating my existence. It was like he was saying, “You are here you matter and I just want you to know this.” 

He did not hold back.

There are a thousand reasons this man could have chosen to not spend his afternoon waving to random people.  There are probably many other things that occupied his thoughts and many pressures to take care of his own needs. But he chose to climb up on that ledge and give himself away so that someone like me would smile and feel the warmth of unconditional love.

How this homeless angel touched me and gave me such a beautiful gift mid afternoon on 16th street.

How often do we underestimate the power of joy and purity of heart others freely give us?  What daily gifts remain unwrapped? How often do we let living zoom past without feeling life?

May you be drawn back into life by your own 16th street angel today.





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