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The Homeless Blessing

She was dirty, VERY dirty.

 

I was sitting on a swivel chair at Koronet, a pizza store on the upper west side of Manhattan, New York. We were halfway through filming an upcoming project for Hope Channel and I was halfway through a giant-sized slice of pizza – Koronet’s specialty.

 

I heard the homelessness in her voice before I saw her.

 

“Excuse me sir, do you have any spare change so I can get something to eat?” I looked to my left and saw my colleague slowly turn his head from side to side. I knew I was next, and quickly turned back to my cheesy triangle.

 

The tap came faster than expected.

 

“Excuse me sir, do you have three dollars so I can get a slice of pizza?” Whatever lived on the other end of perfume was what she smelled of.

 

“Umm… sure,” I responded. I hesitated then went into my wallet and pulled out three wrinkly George Washingtons - all three seemed to wrinkle their nose at the newfound smell they discovered.

 

“Thank you so much.” She smiled and revealed about half the teeth that were warranted. I gently nodded and returned to my meal, when all of a sudden I felt three cold fingers linger on the back of my neck. I wanted to move, but couldn’t bring myself to action.

 

“May you be well, may you be blessed, may you be blessed, may you be well…”

 

Here I was in the middle of a pizza shop, being publicly exalted by a homeless woman. Three dollars meant the world to her and for some reason her three fingers would mean more to me.

 

I twitched for a bit, wanting it to end, and eventually she removed her fingers. Strangely enough, I felt a calming presence. She moved onto her next prospect, who gracefully turned her down.

 

And I wondered for a moment, if Jesus had returned in rags.

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