I could spend 20 more years without hearing from you through these people — these random people. I spent my first 20 years without them, after all. Why the contact now?

I think the first was at the McDonald’s in Waco, Texas, begging for money to haul his truck. He wasn’t really there for me, but maybe that was because I wasn’t there for him. There were plenty of others to do the dirty work so I could sit back and be the judge. They failed, I was thinking; they majorly failed.

The second was in Fort Worth, driving by downtown. You really stepped into our car for that one. The answer was an easy one. We had the resources: time, money, relative safety. It was comfortable to send the guy away with gas, not cash. But then, he didn’t really ask for cash.

Number three took us by surprise, and he spoke well. Took us round the loop of his crazy mind and onto dark streets. The answer to that one? Who really knows, even now? The answer we wanted wasn’t one of your options, so… we just left it blank. Sometimes I wonder about that guy…

There have been handfuls more — four, five, six. You know, we’ve passed so many by, it’s a wonder we’re still in the game. I guess that’s what they call it grace. They’ve stood by the road, with signs and without signs, all wanting something. Yes, they’re all wanting something.

And then the next came in a pair. Cleaner cut than previous ones, slower moving too. It’s a tricky one, I’ll give you that. Love seems to be the only option. A little bit of wisdom, but mostly just love. We’ll see how we come out on that one.

Where are we — number eight? Oh, you know we’re farther than that. But all the same, these things don’t get any easier, do they? Number eight needs money. No, he really needs it. But do you give money when you don’t understand or agree with all the ins and outs? Oh, I’ll give my time, my talents. But my money? Oh, that could be abused, don’t you know? Theology and principle mix with service on this one. What a catch.

And those are just the unscheduled ones — the pop quizzes. We can look everything over and say, “Huh. We’ve sure had a lot of weird experiences lately.” But they’re too intricate to be coincidence. And the questions keep getting harder and harder and… harder.

    • Anonymous
    • December 9th, 2005

    It is hard. What can you do? Can you really help? It often feels futile, but it has to be better than nothing…it has to be.


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