Monday morning’s should never be this bright. All baptized and beautiful. They’re too easy to betray with our Monday morning shoulders-up-to-our-ears attitude.
But here it is. A Monday dressed in bright yellow lace. A rare Spring sun melting more of the ice still caught in my joints. And air that wants to move right to the bottom of your lungs.
But all this was lost on Dan this morning. Dan has pan-handled the local Starbucks’ for more than a year. And so I have a breezy conversational friendship with him.
He’s young, twenties maybe. Shuns shelters, preferring to always sleep outside–whatever the weather–he tells me. I believe him. Dirt has worked far into all his creases. Hands, face, neck anything exposed.
Able-bodied, eyes showing intelligence, he’s one of those who should be, could be, you’d think, raised up. But there is something severely wrong with his heart. His heart is not able-bodied and his intelligence is not enabled. And beauty has skipped over him.
This morning when Dan saw me coming he smiled and said, "Dare I ask?" I told him sorry. He had caught me empty-pocketed today. I asked him how the day was, hoping to translate some of the soft early light. He said he’d seen better. I said, "But you’ve seen worse." He said, "No not really." The brightness of the day not merely lost but mocking. Not even a reference for better or worse.
I’m sad for Dan. I’ll keep talking to him. And pick up after him. And give him money and even offer some direction, as I’ve done. It’s the least I can do when I feel this much beauty on a Monday.
But maybe I was set up to see. Yesterday, while walking under a blanket of grey cloud, I found this message scribbled on a sidewalk:
And I believed it. I believed this message, for me and you.