Our lenten journey continues

homeless_man_rainTuesday found us downtown, in pouring rain, running an errand near the local Le Boulanger, the bakery and café chain, known here for it’s good, inexpensive lunches and equally good, free, completely open WiFi network. Whole virtual corporations use the place as their downtown Menlo Park conference room – the booths on the west end are particularly popular. As I prepared to make the dash from car to lunch, I noticed that Le Boulanger‘s regular street person, an African-American man, was braving the rain to hold down his usual lunchtime perch – a low retaining wall – with umbrella and even a plastic wrap over his cardboard sign.

Like the woman I blogged yesterday, I find myself unaware of his name or story. But unlike Tuesday’s subject, he and I have interacted. Frequently when I have approached the door, particularly in days past, when I was even more of a mobility trainwreck than I now am, he would leap from his post and open the café’s heavy door, seeing me safely in. There were hard days as I first began reclaiming my life when this grace was deeply appreciated.

I’ve always meant to reciprocate, perhaps with a few dollars, but somehow the opportunity never presented itself. Though I was never his benefactor, he was often mine. Nowadays that I’m walking better and opening my own doors, he lets me do it, though he often enough nods and returns my observations about the weather and other small talk. I’d very much like to make a connection, but something tells me to take this slowly…

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About Chris Gulker

Chris Gulker, a self-described Infuential Blogger, lived in Menlo Park, California with spouse Linda. He passed away in late October 2010.
This entry was posted in All, New Life, Photos, Taking Faith. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Our lenten journey continues

  1. Matthew D-G says:

    There is a certain beauty to this story, and your interaction with this man. How often we miss the great grace that seemingly small, simple acts of kindness can contain.

  2. John says:

    I think a hot meal goes a long way

  3. Beth Foote says:

    There’s everyday grace in the mutual acknowledgment of our challenges.

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