Thursday, July 29, 2010

A drunk...

Just a quick note before I head off to bed after a weary day of running. Walmart at 7:30am is always better than at 7:30pm, but man, am I shot.

Somewhere after Liz got her braces adjusted and Brennan had her spacers put in for her impending braces, I ran to "just one more store" to pick something up for John. When I pulled into the Oh-so-Ellenesque (as my mom was known for ALWAYS getting a spot at the curb of whatever store she was going to) parking spot, I saw him. Brennan saw him to. She asked what she should do, with out saying a word. I could see the concern in her eyes with just a quick turn of my head.

"Just step out of the car and walk around the back of it to me. He won't hurt you." I said, mostly believing what I had just said. She didn't question, she just did. Good girl, Bren.

We didn't stare, we just walked into the store, made our purchase and left. We repeated the same routine to get into the car, only in reverse order.

The drunk just sat on the edge of the store window and continued to mumble to himself. He had a black eye and his hands shook as he raised the paper back to his crusty mouth. He wore a flannel shirt in this awful heat and his face was ruddy with bear and sweat. He looked at us but never addressed us.

As we drove away I told Brennan he made me so sad.
"Why? She asked. "Do you know him?"
"Yes. I do. He was once some one's little boy. Maybe he is some one's daddy and maybe he was or still is some one's husband. But he is connected to someone, somewhere right now...and he is too drunk to love them. He is special to someone or at least he was, before the drink stole him away."

I wonder if his family knows he was sitting mumbling to himself, with a black eye outside a store and drinking in the afternoon...probably again. I wonder if they just got sick and tiered of caring anymore.

We got to talking about something else and I don't remember what. But the old drunk has not yet left my heart.

I think our Abba is that way, don't you? I think that we let the worries of this world and the life that can be so harsh, take us away from Him, but we never stop being in His heart. I wonder if it aches Him desperately when we refuse to come home to Him and instead (insert what ever or who ever you or I turn to instead of Him) turn to the bottle.

I wonder if my own dad ever did that, outside a store, in The Bronx or maybe in Brooklyn or in the city that never sleeps. I wonder if anyone saw him and wondered...and then did something for him...pray.

I didn't stop and share the Gospel with him. I didn't tell him The Good News of Jesus Christ. I just drove away...and now I just remembered to do something for him. I prayed.

There is an old expression that says God has a special love for puppies and was probably made up by a drunken Irishman, as we love the sentimental so much.

Join me, won't you in remembering the old drunk, knowing that God sees his brokenness more deeply then we can see his black eye. Who knows, maybe we will see him in Glory someday soon.


Sharon Kirby said...

How very touching...I too, am deeply moved by the broken sadness of such lonely people as this drunken man. May we always take the time to pray for them - because you're right - God sees their brokenness DEEPLY. God Bless...him and YOU!

Maryellen said...

Sharon, we can so miss the least of these can't we. God bless you back!