Friday, February 12, 2010

That Man Might Be Jesus!

I was walking my dog one day in the neighborhood. As I strolled by one house, a woman working in her yard stopped me to admire Sadie. As she was bent over rubbing Sadie’s ears and talking doggie talk to her, a homeless man walked by pushing his grocery cart full of who knows what. The woman jerked up suddenly and bolted for her door, calling back over her shoulder to me, “That man might be Jesus! I have to go fix him a sandwich!”

I was dumbfounded. I waited a moment for the candid camera folks to leap out of the bushes. Then I moved off in the opposite direction, marveling at the bizarre kookiness of people. But before I turned the corner, I paused and looked back at the hunched shoulders of the man shuffling off down the street, oblivious to the commotion his passing had provoked.

I guess the joke was on me after all, because I have never looked at people the same way since. Or maybe I should say I have never overlooked people the same way since. Everybody became real to me that day, imbued with divine promise. I notice people–in the grocery store, in other cars, on the street, in the news. They all have lives. Just like me.

People in certain parts of the world greet each other with the word “Namaste,” which has been roughly translated as “I honor the place in you, where if you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”

Maybe that woman was Jesus.


  1. I had that thought before. When I see homeless people. At times you wonder if you should help them, but then the thought comes to my mind. What if that person is Jesus in disguise? So, if I am able to help at least with a smile, I do so. It might make a lot of difference in that person's life.

  2. Wow...I wrote similar thoughts! So lovley to read you!


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