Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Man I Greatly Admire

Friday I drove Ginny to her eye doctor; everything checks out fine.

Pat called very distressed over the breakup with Jennifer and telling quite a different story. I don’t know who to believe and really there is no reason for me to believe anything about this can of worms. They are adults and their affairs are no concern of mine. Nevertheless, all their pain pains me.

Bubba came by and I encouraged him to seek legal aid for the elderly. I tried to explain the advantages of free legal aid as suggested by M.H.’s comment last week but Bubba wants no part of it.

Ginny and I visited the library then went to Dave’s Diner for lunch to nibble fries and read our books for a couple of hours. The waiters gathered around our table asking questions and expressing concern about the J/P breakup.

Brother Richard stopped by our table also.

He’d led a blind man into the restaurant for lunch.

Even though I think he’s a nut, he’s also a man I greatly admire.

He dresses in collar and clerical garb even though he is not ordained. He sports an enormous cross on a heavy chain around his neck. He also sports a striking Mohawk haircut.

For some reason he really likes me and Ginny. I imagine that every person he meets feels that he really likes them. He tells me that when he was younger before he became religious, he fried his brain on drugs and I think I do detect some lingering mental problems.

But even with his mental problems, this man displays more hands-on Christianity than I ever have.

During the 15 or 20 years I’ve known him he has worked as a dispatcher for a taxi company to earn a living and devoted every spare minute ministering to street people. Kids with green or purple spiked hair, winos, derelicts, pimps, prostitutes, druggies and clean-cut youth — all stop to talk with Brother Richard, tell him their problems, cry on his shoulder.

Sometimes he teaches Bible lessons or holds sing-fests in a converted theater. He drives sick kids to the hospital. He bums food for the hungry. He talks folks out of suicide. He stays available at all hours.

Since Ginny and I last saw him a couple of months ago, he’s lost 60 pounds. To breathe, he lugs around an oxygen tank on wheels. He tells me he has to go in for dialysis three times a week now … and still he ministers to the poor misfits and downtrodden.

I think he is a nut because of his strange garb and haircut and a couple of suspect mannerisms. He has applied to become a lay brother in some Roman Catholic order but they turned him down so he began his street ministry on his own.

He feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, comforts the distressed, and is there for anybody.

Long ago I was active in rescue mission work but recently the only Christian thing I do is write about it now and then. I feel I’ve abandoned my true calling but the mission work just overwhelmed me. It really gets filthy.

Brother Richard makes a difference every day.

He’s a nutcase but a far, far better man than I am.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:30 AM


At 12:16 PM, Blogger Birmingham Girl said...

Beautiful post..touches my heart deeply and also puts a mirror in front of my own face. Thanks.


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