On the way to work this morning I saw a scruffy old man trying to hitch a ride North. An hour later, he was still there. At 11:45 the guy had walked 2 miles back into town, carrying a large back pack, and guitar. As I drove to the lumber yard, I noticed him sitting on the steps of the Lutheran church, head in his hands.
A very small voice in my head suggested, maybe, just maybe, I should offer to buy him lunch…hummm.
I wasn’t sure if that was “God’s still small voice”, or an over sensitive conscious.
A verse did come to mind….
” Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have unknowingly entertained angels.” Hebrews 13:2
As I drove back to the job site, I thought to myself, what the heck, if he looks harmless, I’m up for a little adventure, it’s lunch time and my wife won’t be home today anyway.
He had vanished.
I thought, he couldn’t have gone far, not with that large pack. Sure enough, a block away, I saw him walking up to the door of the Catholic Rectory. I pulled up along side him, rolled down my window and said, “How’ s it going?”
(As I sized him up, he didn’t look like a homeless man off his med’s. I spotted a sign on his back pack, something about Jesus, ….he was a slight man, in his 60’s, probably one of those “Jesus people” from the 60’s I decided)
“Can I buy you a lunch @ Hardee’s? I offered.
I found myself talking to Ricardo Spadaro, on his way to the West Coast.
I need to stop for a second and say a few things.
First, I am not in the habit of picking up hitch hikers anymore…just too many crazies out there.
Secondly, I am not in the “habit” of hearing God speak to me at least in the way, my more charismatic brethren are…
Thirdly, I am not your touchy feely type. I like my space, I do give hugs on occasion, but I think it has something to do with my German roots
Back to Hardees…as we got to the restaurant, I slipped Ricardo, a $20 and said, “Keep the change, this is my investment in your trip”. 🙂 (At this point, he gives me a big hug)
Oh oh, I thought to myself…I hope nobody saw that 🙂
Ricardo, said he hadn’t eaten for two days, he was out of smokes, and couldn’t thank me enough. I decided @ that point, I would run him up to Hwy 20. I would have to take an extra 1/2 hr for lunch, but I was having fun.
We took off, food in the bag, made another stop so Ricardo could get a cup of coffee. As we drove out-of-town, he pointed to the soybean field where he’s spent the night under the stars.
“I heard someone hit a deer last night”.
I asked him where he was headed. He said he was heading West for the Winter. Somewhere warmer.
As we got to his drop spot, he told me he wanted to give me a copy of some of his poetry. …
3/14/15 update. I posted this in 2007. I was thinking about Ricardo this morning as I headed into town, past the spot where he’d slept the night and heard the deer get killed. Since that blog is no longer active I thought I should bring it back on-line here. On the other blog several people had reported interacting with him and updating his whereabouts. DM