The day we went to Freight and Salvage I decided to hang around Berkeley for a little while with the children. Since I was alone, I needed a manageable, double-wide stroller friendly destination. Fortunately, we were within walking distance, so I decided to head over to Berkeley’s Ecology Center Farmers Market. While it is a lot smaller than San Fran’s Ferry Building market, there is still quite a bit of diversity in offerings. It is an open air market located next to a park, so on a nice day, you will find musicians, people relaxing (or dialoguing) on the lawn, children playing… It just feels like Berkeley.
Another element of Berkeley (along with other places in Northern California) is that there is a significant homeless population. As the kids and I walked from the theatre to the market, we encountered a homeless gentleman. He very politely complimented me on the kids, I thanked him, he asked a few questions (like whether I have my hands full, want them to go to college, etc.), said “Hi” to Enoch, we exchanged a few friendly words and I told him have a nice day and went on my way. But, as I walked away, he called out, “You. You’re going to be alright with those kids. You’re going with God. You will be fine.”
Now. I didn’t mention “Jesus” or “God”. And, if you don’t know anything about this area, it is one of the least Bible-minded cities in the country, 97 out of 100 according to this study, so “God” isn’t a common topic of conversation. So I took notice. And was encouraged.
However, what I didn’t notice was that there was a man who had witnessed the entire interaction. He walked up to me afterwards (by this time we were at the market) and thanked me for treating the man with dignity and kindness. He said it was refreshing and encouraging, looked at the kids and smiled (almost knowingly). As we finished talking, the first man walked past, and pointing at us announced to several people standing around, “Those are my friends.” And both walked away.
And I cried.
“Do not neglect to <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”>show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”>entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2