Monday, June 27, 2011

sad tears, happy tears

Today I got myself together a little bit from yesterday's travels and I am finally feeling settled into this place! The weather today was overcast which was AWESOME after the past few months of Texas heat.

I met my friend Stephanie for dinner this evening, but on my way to meet her I made a quick stop at a church I have grown to love during visits to DC in the past. The last time I was there was in January when I was in town for the March for Life. I met a homeless man, Chris, on the steps of the cathedral and had a really great conversation with him over some oatmeal. I wrote a lot about the story here after it happened if you are interested in the whole story. I wrote Chris a letter once, through a Priest at the church, and sent him a Rosary which was "much appreciated" by Chris according to email correspondence with the Priest. I had been hoping I might get to see Chris this summer but I wondered whether his declining health had claimed his life. I'd prayed for Chris ever since and hoped to see him again just to check in on him.

When I got to the church there was no sign of him. I went inside and searched for a Priest or administrator or anyone that may know anything but I was greeted with an unwillingness to help and treated as an annoyance by the 3 men I found in the Sacristy preparing for Mass. I was really hurt by that so I started crying (if this was Twitter I would add #typical #pathetic #cryinginpublic #lame). I walked out of the church really upset, both by Chris' absence and what that might mean and by the callousness of these "holy men." Some younger men were sitting where Chris once sat and they called out a hello to me and I responded (#ireallyneedtoquittalkingtostrangers #nolectureneededmom) and started crying even more. I then asked if they knew a man named Chris to which one man replied, "Oh yeah, honey, Chris with the cain? Why? You know him?" and I told him that I'd met him and had been worried about him... of course talking about it made me cry harder #beingemotionalsucks. The man, who later introduced himself as Wendall, then said "Don't cry with your pretty angel eyes! Chris is fine! He got himself a kidney or a liver, I can't remember which one of 'em it was!" and I started WEEPING on the street with 3 men who had "hit some hard times a while back" according to Wendall's very brief autobiography. He hugged me and told me that "Chris doin' alright" and that he'd be around the church some point in the week.

A few minutes earlier I was crying because of the lack of Christlike representation inside the church and NOW I was sobbing as Wendall said "the Lord sent him what he needed!" It was such a special moment!!! I said bye to Wendall and walked away still crying but SMILING!!!

I realize that I may be somewhat naive to assume authenticity of Chris' initial story and of Wendall's update on Chris, but I don't care. I really feel that I saw into Chris' heart when I met him and I really believe that Wendall knew what he was talking about.

I hope to bump into Chris outside the church at some point this summer and see what the rest of his story is like.



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