This morning as I was sitting with the Christian Women’s Fellowship talking about politics, knitting, and church history in the gathering area of our church the doors to the elevator opened and a man emerged inquiring if the minister was around.
This man was wearing a khaki jacket and a scruffy beard with a pair of glasses that any emergent ninja would be proud to wear. He proceeded to walk out of the elevator and was clutching a walker. The kind that doubles as a seat & had brakes. It was red and on the seat cushion was a sticker that read “Peace is Patriotism!”
He approached me and I noticed that he had a slight sour smell to him & had a minty fresh smelling breath. He shared with me that while waiting for the bus at the stop just outside of our church he was robbed by a man on a bicycle that rode by and grabbed his jacket that held his bus money. He had no money to speak of at the moment and wanted to know if I could help him get on his way.
Our office manager was there and quickly said that she could get him a couple of bus tickets and went off to get them. Standing there with each other I filled the space with a statement. I said, “I love your bumper sticker!” He replied, “you know Ben Franklin once said, There never was a good war or a bad peace.”
We entered into a discussion about politics, war, history, & the addictive nature of power and humanities hunger for war. He was an eloquent speaker and there was something deep within this “scruffy” man standing before me. He told me he was running for mayor or some metro council seat. He shared with me that his father was once mayor of Louisville & a senator.
That when he was a young man that he had been sheltered from “real” life due to the fear of being kidnapped or exploited due to his fathers political endeavors. he had hungered for more connections to others his age. This is why he is running for political office.
Once he received his tickets he turned around and left. When he did the women I had been visiting with were standing up and walking towards me. They were amazed at this man that had just left. They told me stories about his daddy and about the times when he was mayor.
It was an interesting experience for me. I am that guy that speaks to the president of a company or some political strong person and have no idea who I am talking to. Normally I say something off colored or jump into a triad of some sort against some system that the person I am speaking to is connected in some way or another. This time I just smiled and listened to this guys story. I wish I would do that more often.