So this man, every weekday around lunchtime, kneels in a small patch of grass at the end of my front walkway and reads his Bible. He’s a laborer of some kind, he wears the tan shirt and khaki pants that are typical of the gardeners, plumbers, and painters at the university. He has black hair peppered with streaks of grey. When I walk past him–even a few inches away–he doesn’t lift his head or acknowledge my presence. I am wary of initiating a conversation as he seems so focused.
So I will tell you what I won’t tell him. That I love seeing him there. That he inspires me. Makes me feel as if this world is a good and safe place. Where strangers can read from well-worn holy books near the walkway of a stranger and that stranger will respect their privacy. And their devotion. And their commitment. And their faith.