Today, I met Jerry.
January 28, 2010
I was spending time in Minneapolis earlier this afternoon reading in a coffee shop.
I was curled up comfortably in a plush chair with my coffee and a copy of Donald Miller’s latest memoir, facing a giant window. I could see the back of a man’s head leaned up against the wall–he was sitting on the sidewalk. His hair looked a bit dirty and his clothes torn. I watched as person after person walked by him without a glance and was suddenly struck with a conviction to go talk to him.
I packed up my stuff, grabbed another cup of coffee, and went outside to give it to him–due to the recent drop in our Minnesota temperature, I figured it couldn’t hurt. I handed him the coffee and he looked at me sort of confused…he then looked at me even more confused when I sat down, cross-legged beside him.
I introduced myself and started asking him questions. His name is Jerry and he’s 52 years old. He motioned to an army green napsack sitting beside him and told me that it held everything he owns. He’s from Michigan and came to Minnesota when he heard word of a job opening six months ago. By the time he made it here, the position had been filled, so he just stuck around looking for work, food, and shelter. Jerry then started asking me about my life and he seemed genuinely interested. He smiled a lot while we talked. His teeth shined brightly through his beard.
When I got a call letting me know that it was time to head back to campus, I went back in the coffee shop to refill his cup and brought it back out to him. Before I walked away, he grabbed my hand and thanked me with tears in his eyes. He said he saw Jesus during our conversation…a statement that will likely remain with me forever.
Go out and have an interaction of your own–it will change your life.
Until next time, love.