My sister, niece and I thought we were doing a joint good deed today. It was one of the coldest days of the winter so far and we were having lunch in Peterborough where my niece is studying at Trent University.
As we neared the end of our meal, an elderly man stood up from the next booth.
He was a tall, wide man with hair a grizzled gray and teeth a brownish yellow. His coat was worn and a surgical mask hung around his neck. A nametag was pinned to the front of his threadbare shirt that read Pastor Robert.
“Life’s not fair,” he said, leaning on his cane. “Here I was eating alone while three lovely ladies were here in the next booth.”
He seemed a little sad and lonely, so we invited him to sit down. He immediately pulled two slim volumes from his pocket and handed them to my niece and I. They were his self-published books, one called “The Law is Corrupt” and the other “Spiritual Healing Awareness.”
He told us a couple of funny stories and then about his work as a spiritual healer. Things started to get a little strange when the topic turned to UFOs and his friend’s first-hand account of a trip on the “mother ship.”
I admit, his unruly appearance and repeated references to “biped life in other galaxies,” rattled me a little. Because of my own wariness, I was very proud of how kind my niece was to this strange man, asking him questions and agreeing to give one of the books to the Trent Library.
As he got up to leave, I said, “Keep warm out there.” He gave me the strangest look and said, “That’s very good advice. I’d like to leave you with some.” He thought for a moment, then said, “Live without fear. Fear is faith in evil not faith in good.”
After he left, I realized he’d walked off with my hat.
That might have been why he’d looked at me so intently when I’d said “keep warm” — as if I’d known then what he’d done. And if that’s why he took it, to keep warm, he’s welcome to it. It’s a cold world out there.
I will try to keep my faith in good….