Day 8 With Iggy: Finding God in the Face of an Old Man

Today was tough. My anxiety has been through the roof. I’ve been trying really hard to plan for the future while remaining in the present. Sometimes I feel like I am hydroplaning in the mud.  I felt so much anxiety today that I found myself sitting on my bathroom floor, in my towel, praying to St. Jude to intercede on my behalf.

After a weird walk to work, which included having my phone service turned off and a homeless man jumping out of a corner and rubbing his hair on my face, I bought a cup of coffee and tried to regroup for a brief moment before meeting up with my client. I put on Florence and the Machine’s “St. Jude” and sipped my coffee trying to have faith that everything will be all right. The British songstress, Florence Welch, sings of her own personal turmoil and refers to a feminized St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. I saw Florence and the Machine perform at the Masonic a few months back. While she sang, I imagined St. Jude listening and praying for all who might feel lost in the world.

I had to go to another location for work, but was completely out of money for bus fare, so I had to walk (about two miles). On my way to my second location, I  decided to take a brief pit stop at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in Pacific Heights as they have a shrine to St. Jude.  Walking, I began to cry, thinking about the lyrics:

And I’m learning, so I’m leaving
And even though I’m grieving
I’m trying to find the meaning
Let loss reveal it
Let loss reveal it
St. Jude, the patron saint of the lost causes
Shrine of St. Jude. St. Dominic's Catholic Church. San Francisco, CA.
Shrine of St. Jude. St. Dominic’s Catholic Church. San Francisco, CA.
I cried some more and then I noticed an old, frail homeless man pulling a cart with his belongings. He paused, put his belongings to the side, and stepped to the curb.  He covered his face with his hands and began to weep. There was my neighbor and I had nothing to offer him. I wanted to hug him, but I didn’t know him. Instead, I exchanged eye contact with him and slipped into the church. I offered up my prayers for the homeless man who wept.  In the church, my fear felt so small- I felt small.  Suddenly, all that mattered was asking a Saint to pray for a man whose name I didn’t know.
To know God is to see God. To love God is to love his people. What God showed me through my own tears was the face of a man who was made by God and loved by God. God sees our tears. He is a God that hears our prayers. Sometimes we carry our thoughts to a friend (alive or not) and ask them to bring extra prayers to Him. That is what Saints do. They say, “God, we have one more with an improbable cause.”  What God showed me through this indie rock song and a face of a weeping man, is that God sometimes asks us to be the ones who carry the prayers to Him for the sake of others. To know the love of God the Father is to see God in the hearts and souls of all He has created. Notice them. Hear them. Be people to them.

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