An Instagram user’s story has gone viral, describing an encounter with a homeless man in a church:
“A homeless man lay in the entryway of our church, reading the newspaper. I sat down next to him and asked if he wanted to join me for the service. ‘This is my third Mass today,’ he said, ‘I’ll stay out here. The music, it heals me.’
I asked what needed healing. He pulled up his pant cuff & revealed the skin on his legs, which looked like cracked leather, battered by the cold and wind.
‘My name is Stephen. Like the Stephen in the Bible, who was stoned. Sometimes in the cold, it feels like I’m getting hit by rocks too,’ he chuckled.
Stephen did not have money for a dermatologist & produced a well used, almost empty bottle of over-the-counter medicinal lotion from his worn backpack.
This helps but it’s expensive,’ he said.
I gave Stephen my offering plate money and we said a prayer. In that moment, a police officer walked into the church and headed toward Stephen. Stephen instinctively sat up straight and prepared to get hassled.
I prepared to tell the officer that this man was causing no harm. The cop stood before Stephen, reached into his gym bag and handed him a brand new Columbia jacket, saying ‘Stay warm.’ Stephen thanked the officer and with a beaming smile, replaced his worn, dingy jacket with the new.
I returned to Mass, knowing I no longer need to pray for a miracle, I had already witnessed one.
Credit: @bennyajohnson via Instagram