7LW: Woman

Woman, behold your son.Behold Your Mother.

WE HAD A GUEST show up at our homeless ministry. It was her first time. She seemed a little out of it. She seemed more than a little confused. We fed her. Then we closed our doors, as we do at a certain time, and folks left. Guests usually sit at our outdoor tables until Noon or so, so we don’t worry about it. It’s sunny and nearly 85 today. An hour later someone said there was a woman trying to go to the bathroom in our parking lot. So we go out and find her and say this can’t happen. And then we come inside and wonder why she didn’t ask for the restroom downstairs when we were serving folks.

Two hours later she was found still outside in our parking lot… and we walk out to see what was happening. In her slow shuffle, she got to the fence. And called to people outside on the sidewalk. They assumed she was asking for money, but it was something else. We softly directed her through the gate and she asked for help. It dawns on us that she was mostly blind, making her way but suddenly trapped in a strange new parking lot that was surrounded by fences, unable to feel her way out. She wasn’t out of it at all. She wasn’t confused: she wasn’t able to see.

Once we got her on the sidewalk, she practically ran: no shuffle. Back in the world she knew and heading home. I had to run to keep up with her!

Walking back to the office John and Mary came to mind. There is your mother. There is your son.

Author: Huw Raphael

A Dominican Tertiary living in San Francisco, CA. He is almost 59. He feeds the homeless as a parochial almoner and is studying to be a Roman Catholic Deacon. He is learning modern Israeli Hebrew and enjoys cooking, keto, cats, long urban hikes, and SF Beer Week.

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