After a recent prayer and Communion service, a group gathered around the car for some socks, hats, gloves, and face masks. Just as the last person walked away, a young man who had just received a pair socks suddenly went down to the ground hard. He was clearly high and may have been overdosing. A Resource Center Case Worker came across the street and she was already on the phone with 911. The thoughts raced through my mind… I’m not an EMT. What can I possible do? Then our mission statement came into my head. “We offer a consistent, compassionate, pastoral presence to the homeless and marginalized in downtown Portland, Maine.” That’s it, I was simply put there as a loving, compassionate presence. So, I held him and prayed. Nothing more and nothing less.
Unfortunately, this is all too common an event in the homeless community. Yet God finds ways to remind us that He’s always there, especially amidst the suffering.