I met and angel named Eddie last night. He flew into my life on a wingless flight. Broken, irritated, and bewildered the last thing I desired or even wanted after I walked out of the downtown restaurant was to see a beggar. I was irritated at the world. Does anyone not make a way for themselves anymore? I cannot hold up everyone!
There he stood --- dirty, smelly and as luck would have it, chipper. As he walked over at a brisk pace, I was predicting his speech – “I want, I want, I want” or “gimme, gimme, gimme,” or “I have had it so bad…” Well, I for one did not want to hear it. I tried not to make eye contact.
He burst in front of my face. I looked away, acting like I never saw him, hoping he would get the hint that I had no time for him or his ungracious begging. But this was to no avail.
“Hi, I’m Eddie,” was the opening of his dialogue. I expected this to follow…I’m hungry, I’m down on my luck, me...me…me, can you help a man out? But instead this came...
“I was just wondering how you all are tonight?”
“Doing okay Eddie,” I said as I continued my focused walk to the car.
What came subsequently astonished me to no end and left me speechless and flabbergasted -- a task that is not too easy to reach.
“You really don’t seem to be okay. Can I pray for you?”
What? Pray? For me? In the middle of downtown with 4,782 people meandering around the river and trying to avoid you too? Are you possessed? What kind of weirdo are you?
At that moment he reached out his calloused ,dirty hand and grabbed my and IJ’s hand, he fell to his knees and began the sweetest, most powerful, authentic prayer I have ever heard. I first wanted to run away as I looked around at the judgemental stares. But soon I was swept away in his genuine words. Through the stench of alcohol and stale breath, his sincerity was what was most prevalent. He might not be at a place in life where he wants to be, but he knows who is source is. With an Amen, he stood up and walked away, never asking for a dime.
At that moment I realized Eddie was a better person than I. I also realized God sent him, not for me to judge, but for me to be humbled. He sent Eddie into my life on a wingless flight. If only I could be more like Eddie.