I have an interesting job.
On occasions I have chance encounters in which I think I touch the divine.
Yesterday I had one such encounter.
It just so happened that before this encounter I was reading The Irresistible Revolution.
My mentor thought it would be useful to read.
In a coffee shop I just finished the first chapter.
It ends with this Mother Teresa quote:
‘in the poor we meet Jesus in his most interesting disguises’.
I left the coffee shop and walked thought he cathedral on my way back to the office.
This is my normal routine.
Immediately the stewards directed me to the rear of the cathedral.
A man had come in who had been beaten, mugged, and hospitailised a few days ago.
The guy was clearly distressed and wanted to get home to London.
He had been discharged but had no resources to get home.
I think he was intending to walk home.
He was directed to the cathedral as a place that might help.
That thought brings a tear of joy to my eye.
Someone ‘out there’ thinks the cathedral is a place of help.
After a little chat I offered to walk to the station and buy a ticket for him.
He accepted happily and we walked together down the High Street.
We talked a lot and the guys life story was a privilege to hear.
He was an HIV counsellor who had lost his job due to funding cuts.
(the politics of cuts are for another post!)
As I walked with the man a verse from the Emmaus story in Luke 24 hit my heart.
‘We’re not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road…’
My heart burned
I was intrigued by this man’s presence.
As I handed over the ticket he shook my hand
He looked me in the eye
held my gaze
‘I’ll pray for you’
I was going to offer to pray for him
and a little watery eyed …
I waved goodbye ..
and returned along the High Street