I saw the sign one Friday morning as I crossed Broadway on my way to work.
It was on the back of Pepperidge Farm delivery truck parked on Fulton Street and I saw the words written especially for me: “God is in the Details.”
He is? Hell, I thought the Devil was the in details. Had these guys switch duties without telling me? And why is Pepperidge Farm suddenly preaching the good word?
I remember their commercials from the Sixties, which ended with some geezer with a straw hat, glasses and loose dentures telling us “Pepperidge Farm remembers…”
The ads were an attempt to hark back to a simpler time when food was pure and healthy and not mass-produced in factories with ingredients that seemed more appropriate for rocket fuel than anything you’d want to eat.
Then I looked closer at the sign and saw God wasn’t in the details. The slogan is “Good is in the Details.” Good God, I’m hallucinating again.
No matter. God knows I needed some good news and I decided to accept this nonexistent message. Reality is such a bore.
When my back went out not so long ago and I was barely able to walk, I suddenly noticed people with walkers and canes and crutches, all laboring to get from Point A to Point B. Where had all these poor souls come from, I wondered.
Well, of course, they hadn’t magically dropped from the sky. They were there all along, painfully walking right in front of me, but since I wasn’t sharing their agony, I barely noticed their existence. Once we were all on the same excruciating page, I became enlightened.
We’re Down Here
As I continue to ponder my future, I’m seeing more and homeless people. I do think there are more of them in this city, but I also think my own fears and doubts are causing me to spot them much more quickly.
Like the young woman who sits on Church Street near Century 21 with her dog, to whom I’ve been giving change for the last few mornings.
And there was a man outside my old building on Broadway who carried a sign reading “Every time you give change to a homeless person an angel gets his wings.”
I guess it’s good to have a sense of humor when you’ve got no roof over your head. And the sign actually had some fine print that cut through the funny business with a simple two-word question “Got karma?”
That little detail got my attention. Some people get through the day by pretending the homeless don’t exist, or that they’re some other life form that has no relation to the rest of humanity.
Of course that’s completely false. All it takes is a few changes in your circumstances and you could wind up in the same situation.
The people at my gym allow a local homeless man to use the showers each morning. It’s a very kind gesture and I give these folks a lot of credit.
But the first time I ran into this man I actually heard myself complaining about this…person in my gym.
I had to remind myself that I’m lucky to have a home of my own, that I can afford to go to the gym in a world where so many people struggle for food and shelter.
God is in the details but you must have goodness in your heart to find Him or you’ll never get your wings.