A STRANGER’S FAITH
Ice slides formed at the base of trees. Cold birds perched by chimney heat. The snow drifted like the homeless do, while a young man roamed painfully. His eyes were as empty as his life. With each step he gained nothing save for the odd stare of disdain from those who walked briskly for coffee. Donning three thin, tattered used coats and one fingerless glove, he bent over to tie a frayed shoelace, only to discover that it was gone. He walked with his head hung looking for a string discarded by someone to tie his flopping shoe top down, but nothing of that like was found.
A stranger espied the young man’s anguish, his empty stare, gaunt face, lost wish. She approached and offered to buy coffee for him, but sadly and hopelessly he said, “They told me I couldn’t go in.” His clothes were tattered, long hair unclean, his shoes were in shatters and his odour unsavoury.
“Then we’ll go somewhere else, my friend,” the stranger said kindly to him.
But unjustly, no-one cared to serve him… back out into the cold again. So they had coffee out in the wind, just the stranger and young man. One hopeless heart, and one broken.
The broken heart prayed for the hopeless one, tears falling from her eyes, asking God to care for him, to feed him, a home for him find.
The spring sun thawed the ice slides. The birds sang songs at passers by and the stranger still hadn’t seen him and worried he had died. The stranger asked God to show her just how this young man has been.
Seen coming from an apartment, there he was, plump, pleased.
“You look so good,” she proclaimed.
He smiled, patting his girth. He told her, “I like to eat.” She glanced down… new shoes on his feet.
The stranger’s faith was magnified. “Ask and you shall receive,” she remembered… Those prayers were good for both of them.
© L. P. Penner, 2000