Today, at lunch, I needed a stamp and a greeting card, so I decided to spend most of my hour walking through midtown (the post office is a bit of a trek, but I need the exercise so why not?). On the way to the post office, I passed a guy who yelled out, “Hey! What are you reading?” Because he caught me off guard, I actually had to look at my book before I replied “Hurricane.” The guy didn’t look homeless necessarily, maybe sick, maybe a little lost in life, so I wasn’t sure if he was going to ask me for money so I had “no cash” idly waiting on the tip of my tongue (which was true, but it definitely has become a bit of a stock phrase over my years of working downtown and midtown, although I try to make it a complete sentence “I don’t have any cash, sorry”, because I don’t like being rude to strangers*). But he didn’t. The light changed and he crossed the street.
Fast forward, I ran all my little errands and was headed in the direction of my office to get some grub, and I passed him again sitting on the steps of a little apartment building. I kept walking, but I was thinking, wow, how interesting to pass someone twice within an hour. He had the same idea, and he said to me, “Hey! I’ve seen you twice today. My name is Randall.” I slowed down, still a little worried, but I had no real reason not to. I spoke to him, and he said “Will you pray for me? There’s some reason I’ve seen you twice today. I’d really like you to pray for me.” So I asked him if he had any specific prayer requests, and he thought about it. Then he told me “my strongholds and my decisions.” By now, of course the sap that I am was really moved, so I said “I will definitely pray for you, Randall. Take care.” He smiled then went into what seemed like deep thought.
I spent the rest of my walk thinking about and praying for Randall, and I hope he’s okay. It just goes to show that you never know who you will encounter, and you never know if all someone needs is for you to stop walking and just engage them for a couple of minutes. Happy Friday, folks.
(And in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been–I’ve been on tumblr and twitter pretty regularly, but I’m definitely gearing up to start back carving out time to give you more than one thought at a time, so please stay tuned!)
*Disclaimer: I will totally be rude to mean people and people who are rude to me, whether I know them or not. Work in progress here.