I recently reposted my piece “We Are All Angels”. What prompted me to do so, was a conversation I had with my wife.
She joined NextDoor.com when we moved to our new location. It has helped with learning more about the area. But she also discovered that it is basically a Facebook for the locals. It’s a platform for whining and bitching about the things that go on in the neighborhood.
This particular day my wife was reading to me the comments made by local residents in regards to the town “nut”, for lack of a better and more politically correct term.
I’m not sure how long this gentleman has been a fixture in our neighborhood, but I do know he’s been here ever since my wife and I made our first visit to the area. The gentleman has long wavy blonde hair, a beard and a deep tan, because it’s Florida and he spends over 75% of his time outside without a shirt on. He looks like the typical town vagrant, something right out of central casting, who stands on the street corner and speaks, yells and jesters to no one in particular or passing cars.
Everyone in this area is familiar with him and I have heard his story but I don’t know how much is truth and how much is town folklore. Supposedly he lives with his mother in a nice home and at one point he was married. The story goes he lost his wife and that’s what sent him over the edge. So we’re pretty sure he’s not homeless.
I’ve always found him to be innocuous and somewhat amusing at times, just a sideshow as you drive down the street. But evidently, after listening to the comments my wife was reading from the “neighborly” people on NextDoor.com, not everyone agrees with me.
Comments ranged from people finding him offensive, he does flip the bird every now and then at random passing cars, to others fearing for their safety. Where he stands and does whatever it is he does isn’t around many people. But some comments went to the extent of hypothesizing that you never know when he could turn violent and shoot everyone.
Now those statements really didn’t bother me. I assumed most were probably made by those new to the area. First off everyone gets offended by something these days. I’m sure we will soon be pushing to add the right to not be offended to the constitution. Secondly we fear what we don’t understand, and no one really understands this guy’s situation.
The comment that caught my attention and caused me to furrow my brow was this.
Where the gentleman spends most of his day is on the sidewalk along the busy coastal road, and some days he is close to a Catholic church.
One person commented that they found it offensive that he stands close to the church. Now I don’t know if that person was a member of that church or what denomination they were nor do I care. But I’m pretty sure if that person was in a room and they asked, “Who’s a good Christian?” their hand would fly up faster than you can say nut.
This is why I reposted “We Are All Angels”. When my wife read this comment I thought about the blindness we all suffer when it comes to God’s work.
Considering this man to be an angel certainly takes a leap of faith, but at least I would think people may see this as God speaking to us. Not so much to the fact that someone should take in this guy and care for him since if the stories I hear are correct, he is well cared for. No I take it to be God speaking to us by saying count your blessings.
As you’re rolling around the corner and pulling into Christmas Eve mass in your BMW, Audi, Cadillac or Mercedes. As you arrive with your family intact, your happy and healthy kids anticipating the presents they will receive later that night, your wife or husband enjoying the holidays with you, maybe God has placed a sign before you saying, “You are Blessed”.
But we miss it, even when the sign is right in front of the house where we go to worship.
So as I start a new year I must remember to continue to look for these signs by seeking righteousness and to put God in my heart.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.