How you doin' tonight, sir? the man asked me shyly. He was around five–foot–eight, with sporadic gray hair and bushy eyebrows. His pant legs were ripped and caked with grime, his shirt thin and oversized. The woman standing next to him was short, right at five feet, with curly brown hair and a beautiful smile. She wore a bedraggled skirt smeared with mud, a white V–neck T–shirt and a thick, bright blue cardigan missing buttons. “My name is Evelyn,” the woman said with her hand extended, “and this here is my husband Lee.”
Marjorie and I spent the next two hours standing under the overpass with Evelyn and Lee, listening to stories, laughing and having our hearts changed. Lee was full of wisdom and laughter, but it’s Evelyn that I remember most. Though she didn’t know me, I could tell she loved me. She asked about my dreams and passions, listening closely to my answers, the things I wished and hoped for. I found myself confessing struggles and heartaches to her, only to have her encourage me and remind me that God is always God, in good times and bad. Evelyn and Lee didn’t ask for money or food—or anything, for that matter. It was as if they approached us so they could love us, encourage us, and remind us who we were in Christ.
Before the night was over, Evelyn wrapped her arms around me, put one hand on the back of my head and pulled it to her shoulder. For nearly two minutes we stood connected, holding each other in the glow of a streetlamp.
Nothing would ever be the same.