There are a lot of people hurting out there. People who lost their homes, people who don’t have heat. They need our prayers.
I’ve mentioned Kenny before. He’s a homeless man who usually sits on a fireplug outside the Duane Reade pharmacy on Friday afternoons, always nicely dressed in a coat and tie, a Bible in his lap. He’s got a big toothy grin, a friendly wave and a word of advice. I look for him every Friday.
I hadn’t seen him, though, since Hurricane Sandy blew through town and I was worried. His health isn’t great. Not that he complains. He would be the first to tell you how blessed he is, but the hospital he goes to, Bellevue, is not close to the shelter where he lives uptown. And when the subways and buses weren’t running after the hurricane, there was no way he could travel.
Last Friday I was very glad to see him back in his usual spot, cane in hand. “Kenny,” I hollered. “Rick,” he hollered back. “How are you?” I asked. “Did you survive the storm?”
“Rick, it was hard,” he said. “I have to take this medication every three days and when I don’t get it, it’s very serious. I couldn’t get down here to the hospital...”
He paused to accept a gift of gluten-free cookies from a Yeshiva student who walked by, evidently another one of his fans, then continued:
“Finally I took a cab and they got me my prescription. I was able to get the medication I need. I’m fine now.”
“Glad to hear it, Kenny.”
“But there’s something you need to do. It’s important, very important. There are a lot of people hurting out there. People who lost their homes, people who don’t have any heat, people who are struggling. You need to pray for them. They all need our prayers. I’m praying for them too.”
There was something touching about a homeless man praying for people who lost their homes.
“I’ll do that,” I said. “I’ll pray for them.”
Then he stood up and gave me a hug.