Eric lay married to the sidewalk, supported by a pillar of the dollar store. He grabbed my soul as I pondered his situation. I felt a need to help him. To find a coffee machine that could brew twelve cups at a clip, however, dominated my attention. Sunken eyes which might possibly have been oblivious to my presence , or my own glance which returned reflexively to the entrance ahead, left us strangers; my physical position and purposeful gait kept us passively at odds.
As my wife and I scanned the shelves for the solution to our consuming dilemma my conscience returned to Eric. He had the appearance of an upper case L turned backward then rotated ninety degrees; his legs flat on the cement didn’t seem to consider standing. Perhaps the heat of the midday in Tucson left him stymied, much the same as the lizard our German shepherd Benji presented prostate on its back with no significant future, twitching, waiting to die.
Eric from his prone position provided a light for a thankful passerby. As we left the General store two dollars and fifty cents lighter than when we entered; the twelve cup coffee maker not among the fare on the half empty shelves, Eric managed to summon the energy to ask me for a dollar. I handed him a fine bottle of water plus a snack sized bag of trail mix which for protein trumped the the package of bologna, cheese and crackers I had originally considered. I asked him his name and if I could pray for him.
Eric nodded yes and closed his eyes and I stooped down along side facing him asking the LORD to provide for his needs; and that Eric would know Jesus as his Savior. I asked by the name of the only One who can save. Then I said, “I love you.” Then I remembered the Lord Jesus saying to Peter, “Do you love Me?”