Today was interesting.
I met guy named Michael in front of Wal-Mart, while i was hanging out on a park bench with James Losey, as my friend Peter sieg was inside, applying for a job. It was hard not to notice Michael, who pulled up on a worn-down bicyle- sporting a ball cap carelessly perched on his greasy head and a dirty 2XL T-shirt that was almost comical on his young, slendor frame. Most of the shoppers were doing their best to avoid Michael, which proved difficult since Michael took to cat-calling and heckling them. When there were no customers to harass, he would talk to himself in a very loud voice. Michael, who I had now already assumed to be homeless, approached James and myself and asked us to watch his bike for him, as he proceeded to go inside and shoplift his dinner.
After he returned, he sat next to James and me, on the ground, close enough that we could smell his stench. Very sarcastically, he asked me about my shirt, which had the Greek word doulos across the front. Moving off the bench and sitting next to him on ground, I explained to him that doulos meant "bondservant", and it refered to the fact that Christians are bondservants of Christ, going into some detail about the Jewish tradition behind it. Michael responded by making some nosensical statement that I couldn't quite make out.
Michael told me a little about his day. Evidently, he had been mugged downtown earlier, which is not uncommon for a homeless person to be robbed. We made small talk for a couple of more minutes, until I had to leave.
As I got up to leave, I stuck out my hand and told him it was nice meeting him. Michael was pretty taken back at first, almost frightened. It was almost like it took him a second to register what it meant. I imagine it had been a very long time since someone had shaken his hand.
It's a strange thing to be reminded you're human.
Post Script: If you consider yourself a Christian, please pray for Michael.