This morning I was coming out of the Cathedral after being a chalice bearer at the early service. I confused the Canon by accepting the bread but X'ing my arms over my chest to demonstrate that I would not take the wine. Usually people decline BOTH, but I'm aware enough of Anglican theology to know that no matter which species of the Communion I take, it's as valid as if I've taken them both, as the presence of Christ is in the bread AND the wine.
As I left, there was a woman sitting by herself on a bit of foamboard by the side of the road. I'd noticed her before and not really noticed anything... so I enquired gently around the Cathedral a while back and yes, she is homeless.
So as I walked out to my car I cursed that all my money was gone and I had nothing to give her. I did call out to her "how are things? Are you doing OK?"
And she looked at me with an infinite sagacity and said: "More importantly, are YOU okay?"
So I went and sat with her. I answered her honestly. "Sure, in some ways I'm okay, in others I'm not. Thank you for taking an interest in me as a human being. I appreciate that." We talked for a while.
She chatted to me as well, and she was obviously fighting through some kind of mental illness to talk to me. She told me she'd been confirmed there but once you're confirmed you have to leave the church. Though this is in no way true, I nodded, because she was absolutely convinced she could not enter the building again. Perhaps the Dean had been rude to her, I will make enquiries.
"Do you need anything, you having been so kind as to listen to me and minister to me?" I asked. She talked about needing money. Then she stopped herself, saying "no, no don't go down that road...." and corrected herself. Food.
"What do you like to eat?" I asked her, and she said "Oh, people give me a sandwich. One guy got me an iced tea and a sandwich from Chik-Fil-A." I said "yes, but what do you like to eat?" and she looked at me and said "I'm not dressed for a gourmet meal." I said "I think you look fine." She told me she missed air conditioning and could really just use food. She said she'd already eaten though, thanks - not to worry, but I was a dear.
I made a mental note to get her one of those wicking headcoverings that when wetted, brings down your temperature by 5+ degrees. And a backpack, so she could store anything she got. And a gift card to a local food place within walking distance.
Because I met a saint, and there's no damn way I was not going to repay her kindness.