For the Living of These Days—A Word from Jim England

A news item caught my eye. A homeless man using what he had to shave. What he had was a rain puddle in the middle of the street. A police officer stopped to tell him to move on. Officer Jeremy Thomas of the Detroit Police Department chose differently. He helped the man with limited eyesight shave in the middle of the street. The officer can be seen with kind hands on the man’s face performing a simple task. The homeless man had been given a shaving kit and wanted to try it out but limited resources put him in a puddle in a street. Add kindness to puddles and you get humanity.

I think of people donating shaving kits and others distributing them. I think of this officer with kind hands and eyes seeing beyond the grime of the streets. I wonder about this homeless man. What brought him to a puddle on a Detroit street? Mental illness? PTSD? Loss? Whatever the cause, the place he found himself reminds us of the prodigal who finds himself feeding pigs to survive.

I think of Friday church and spontaneous applause for one who celebrates a year of sobriety, the heartbreaking prayer requests, the lively music, and the genuine warmth of Highland members who week after week embrace people in the ”puddle” places. I am filled with gratitude.