facebook icon twitter icon

On The Street Where I Live, I Met  Him.

It was not on “Some enchanted evening … across a crowded room,” I saw the stranger. No, I saw the stranger on the street where I live, on a cold winter’s day just after Christmas.

At first it was a matter of mistaken identity.  You see, I was driving very close to home when I saw this person, bent over a rollator, lumbering up the hill at the edge of the road, as cars zoomed by. My heart constricted.  Was it who I thought it was?  The woollen toque pulled low over the bent head made it hard to see if it was indeed who I feared it was.

I parked in the drive way and ran to bring my elderly friend safely home, and stopped in my tracks, startled by what I saw.  A breathless man lumbered towards me. Poorly clothed, without gloves, unkempt there he stopped in front of me, his face radiant.  He caught his breath, and I caught mine.   Lost for words I took in what I saw.  In the ten years I have lived in this suburb, I have never seen a homeless person on this street.  Where had he come from, where was he going, I wondered.  So, I asked.   And he began at the very beginning, to tell me his story.

It wasn’t long before I recognised some of his mental health challenges.  While I buttoned up my coat and flipped up the collar against the icy wind, the stranger spoke of a miracle that saved him as a child.  As I listened, my mind wandered. I wondered about the Christ whose birth we had just celebrated a day ago.  Who was this stranger, I pondered?  Was ours merely a chance meeting?  What really was this encounter all about?  My question about where he was going, went unanswered. Though I began to shiver, he seemed oblivious to the cold and continued to tell his story.  So, I listened attentively, as it became evident that what the stranger was looking for, was a fellow human being with whom he could share his story.

In time, I knew I needed to end our encounter and told him I had to leave.  I would have happily given this man money and my gloves, which would have been a poor fit for his large hands, but he wanted neither.  “I do not want anything but thank you for your time” were his parting words. Then he turned around and lumbered back down that same hill, on the road, with cars zooming by. 

I stood and watched him for quite a while, feeling blessed by this encounter, thankful for meeting Christ on the street where I live.  

- Sr. Magdalena Vogt, cps

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>
« Weekly Pause & Ponder | Main | »


Copyright 2013. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.