It’s the morning after the night before and I still managed to wake up early and go to the park for my morning walk with God. I decided to change things up a bit and chose to sit on a different bench. As I approached the bench I noticed blue tarpaulin covering the seat.
I paused for a moment whilst thinking about where to go next and wondering what work they were doing in the park. The tarpaulin began to move. I was curious what could be lurking beneath. (I guess this is how people get caught in horror movies!)
I watched as a young black man (possibly early 30s) woke from his slumber, stretched for a moment, sat for a while and then began to make his bed (that’s the only word I could think of to explain his actions).
He carefully put all of the pieces together and stored them away in an overgrown part of the park (he had clearly been here before). Funnily, one of the first things that came to my mind was about me and not about the young man. I felt a great sense of gratitude come over me. I had slept in a warm bed, got up to running water and was about to go home to eat my breakfast and I had work to do!
Curiousity got the better of me
I introduced myself and asked him his name – Kofi – and then I had to ask Kofi to tell me his story (you would have done the same). He shared his journey with me from family man to job loss to park bench and the more he shared the more I wanted to help.
The words of an old pastor rang in my head: “whatever you do don’t take him home” (yes I’d met someone like Kofi before lol!) I was thinking shower, I was thinking breakfast, but as that would require me taking Kofi home I let go of that idea. Instead I reached into my bag for my purse and asked Kofi’s permission to give him money (I didn’t want to assume anything) Of course he said yes.
In that moment I realized that even though I had given him all I had in my purse, I was richer from the experience. His parting words before he sped off to start his day were a great set up for the rest of my day. He said: “you are my morning angel” Those words will continue to remind me that one person can make a difference and that difference begins when you (the authentic you) show up on purpose.