It is a phrase I have used more often than any other in my last year of discovery. For every moment of doubt and sorrow the universe has provided for me a balance by showing to me and through me to you the absolute pure beauty of the human spirit.
I met him on a street corner, holding a sign that simply read “homeless – please help – thank-you – God bless”
Living in a major city centre as I do the sight is not uncommon yet something told me this was a very uncommon man. I carry change on me so I am able to give when the opportunity presents itself but when I pulled up and put the change in his cup something in his eyes told me we would meet again. I was running late for work but I simply could not drive away; I needed to reach out to this person so I turned my car around, pulled into a close by parking lot, parked the car and walked over to where he stood. He told me he only needed enough money to buy the bread he needed to go with the peanut butter in his bag. I made sure he had enough, then gave him my card and my number and told him if ever he was in need of me he had but to call and I would come. Little did I know that it was I who would need him.
Two days ago I answered my phone and soon found myself taking this incredible creature out for coffee; that my friends is when the real magic began.
He walks the streets of the city unseen by most. Seemingly underfed, cloths worn and carrying two beat up old bags the contents of which are all his worldly possessions; those who see him think him a man in need; until that is he tells his tale.
He spent most of life as an addict, playing with bands across the country. He has at one time or another partaken in and experimented with every drug available on the streets of our great nations’ cities. He has owned houses, cars, boats; has known wealth beyond what many of us will ever achieve in this lifetime yet he says that not unitl 6 yrs ago did he truly understand what it meant to be rich.
It is hard for me to put into words the feeling that one gets when speaking to this man but even as I write there are tears in my eyes to remember. If you have ever sat quietly under a tree on a warm summers day to drink in the heat and light of the sun you may have come close to the peace of mind one gets in the presence of one such as him. If you have ever suddenly just thrown your hands together in delight at some miraculous thing that just occurred you may have an inkling of the joy that bubbles up within in you when you speak to one such as him. His eyes are more blue than the brightest summers sky and clear as fresh spring water, when they rest on you even for a moment, you understand fully the meaning of compassion.
One morning many years ago, he found himself downtown in the early hours just before sunrise, when the streets are filled with the last stragglers of the parties of the night before. There was a moment on that street when all those who were around him seemed to disappear and out of the darkness walked a tall man who began to glow as he approached. My new friend tells me that without saying a word this man filled him with a warmth and light unlike anything he had ever known; a light that gave him the inner peace that allowed him in turn to find his freedom. He swears that day he met an angel, and that he was in fact touched and blessed personally by the spirit.
6 yrs have passed and he remains still to this day straight and sober though his body now shows the telltale signs of substance abuse; he stutters when he speaks and at odd moments his body shakes; his spirit however shines through those clear blue gentle eyes. He took his gift out into the street, where he now lives by choice so he can be among those who he feels his story will best serve. He told me that when he needs food it comes to him, when he needs shelter it is provided, when he needs love he only has to remember that it is there within him. He say he is free; more importantly he is happy.
He volunteers at shelters and outreach programs teaching others how to overcome their fears and addictions. By living as they do, he can reach them on their level believing he has a better chance of breaking through the fog that surrounds their lives. The most precious gift he says that he can give is the reassurance that they are not alone and they need never go without , that all you need in life will be provided if only you just believe. The odd thing is, he has a home, he has a family, he has an income and he has chosen to walk away. He pays his taxes and only uses his money for food. Anything he makes extra he passes onto those who cannot make for themselves, and in giving easily to those he meets he says even when he himself runs out of food and money he knows that he will never go hungry. He does not think it a sacrifice to live as he does; he says it is a gift and a blessing.
Again I find it difficult to find the words but I am sure it would help my writing a great deal if I could see the paper on which I write; the tears however cloud my vision.
The day I picked him up he found on the street a key chain and tried to give it to me as a gift; I dismissed it, shamefully saying I had many...
When he got into my car he attached to me keys without a word and I knew as soon as he did that it belonged there. I will never understand how he did this, since when he picked it off the ground, the chain was broken. It is a small guitar, and I cherish it more than any fine jewellery I have ever been given, it is more precious to me than most of the things I own. When I run my fingers along it, I can feel that his gift, his energy is with me.
You see in this our time of change, when fear and doubt threaten to overwhelm we need only remember that angels walk our Earth. The smallest change in how we perceive those we encounter can lead us to bear witness to the lives and actions of those who would irrevocably touch our heart and souls; they walk by our side and hold our hand as we embark on our creation of a new peaceful unified world.
His middle name, Raymond means ‘protecting hands’ and if you ask him he will tell you, always you are sheltered by love. When he got out of the car that day I blew him a quick kiss good bye to which he mildly responded ‘take care, I love you’. I had tears in my eyes when I told him ‘I love you too my friend’ and I have tears yet again in my eyes as I write this story and realize how deeply I meant it.
Jean Victoria Norloch