Back in mid-July I took a drive up to see my daughter in Portsmouth, NH. I had one short layover at Harvard Square . . .
"How long will you be," he asked back.
"About an hour and a half."
"Oh my," he replied. "I won’t be here then, how about a toke of my bong then?"
I said, "No thanks. I’m a pastor heading up to a meeting and that would not be a good thing."
He blessed me and went on tuning his guitar.
When I did come out, he was there (waiting?) and said, "Hey, hat man, I still like your hat."
"Everyone still likes my hat," I smiled, reaching into my pocket and gave him a dollar. He was happy.
I told him I was a pastor and so was my friend here. He said I was better looking than my friend. See what compliments a dollar gets you. He said, "You can pray for me and I will pray for you." I asked his name. "Marvin." So, I grabbed his hand. We bowed, right there in Harvard Square, right there on the sidewalk, with his cup in hand, we prayed for Marvin. He joined us. "God, meet Marvin’s needs. Let him know you are close to him." He was so thankful. He was still homeless and poor, though. Yet, a little closer to Jesus—or maybe my friend and I were a little closer to Jesus.
Surrounded by such wealth. Some of the world’s brightest right there teaching and being taught—Harvard, MIT just down the way. At Harvard Square. And still, poverty licks the streets right at the door—well, outside the doors. I told the pastor friend with me, "You see, the Hill follows me everywhere."
My heart breaks.
As my pastor friend and I parted, I soaked in Harvard Square and pondered where Marvin had disappeared to. I glanced back and he had literally vanished. Gone. Marvin and the hustle and bustle and sights of Harvard Square created a blend of thoughts as I walked back to my car:
"Until we forsake all earthly power and submit to God’s grace and mercy as our only possession, we will continue to be beggars at the doors of this world and be a part of the cause of such poverty. I think my brother, Doran Wright, is correct. Until we are their neighbors . . . until I am Marvin's neighbor . . ."