Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Don't Want to Be Here

My good friend Dick Shipe was hit and killed on the way to work. I did NOT want to be riding herd on a bunch of knuckleheads at Operation Nightwatch twelve hours later. I needed time with family and friends, time to reflect on a lost friendship.

About 10:00 p.m. I was fed up to here.

I marched out on the sidewalk and stuck my finger in the face of some galoot named, ironically, Richard.

"What makes you do this every night?" I asked him, my sorrow and anger boiling over. This guy was smart, street savvy, and aggressive. At least with the little guys.

Richard pulled me away from his friends about 15 feet. "Pastor Rick, I'm dying of testicular cancer, and I want to die a man, on the street."

Suddenly I realized that we were co-travelers through the pains of life; he was grieving, I was grieving.

I apologized for embarrassing him in front of his friends, and told him about the death of my friend.

Richard laid his hands on my shoulders and said, "Pastor Rick, I'm going to say a prayer for you." He prayed for my comfort, the comfort of the family who lost a loved one, the tenderest of prayers.


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