Sunday, December 23, 2007

Under the Bridge

Boxcar Billy and Dogs and Wolfs, a crudely spray painted memorial under the viaduct. They tell me that Boxcar Billy froze to death last winter. It was cold out today too. I soon wished that I had worn a heavier coat. I had followed a group of church folks as they caravaned to an obscure space just outside of the city. Down the dead end street, past the meat shop, over the gravel and mud, through the flood gate and under the bridge. Their camp over looked the railroad tracks. As I gazed downward, I was told that Jeff had caught his leg in those very tracks just last week. He was still in the hospital, he lost both his legs. Thankfully he somehow avoided having need of his own spray painted sepulcher. There was a lot of spray paint. Elie read one of the many slogans tagged on the concrete walls. Her sister was quick to tell on her. It was bad word but at least she was reading. Someone brought out the turkey. It was still nice and hot. There was plenty of food so I'm glad that I didn't eat lunch. We stood around the fire warming our hands, eating, talking, and listing to the game on a tiny battery powered radio. I didn't know most of the people there and for a moment, an unusual moment, I couldn't figure out who was with the church and who was homeless. They were all people, the kind that God loves , complete with addictions, hang ups, flaws and failures. They were people, beautiful people.

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