The Man I Saw Under the Carpet

Classified from Flickr via Wylio
© 2007 Joel Bedford, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio

I am not a morning person. I am also not a new clothes kind of person. I am also not a shower-every-day person. I can’t decide if I lack these things because I write for a living or if I write for a living because I lack these things and therefore am not qualified for anything else.

I can relate with something Anne Lamott once said about herself: I am completely unemployable.

But on Wednesday morning I rolled out of bed for an early-morning (7am) coffee with a good friend. There are few other things that will get me out of bed that early. I put on a baseball cap, the clothes I had worn the day before, and as I was stumbling out the door I remembered to brush my teeth. Which is a major win.

Whenever I wake up early and go outside I wonder why I’m NOT more of a morning person. It’s actually pretty invigorating, walking out into the city early in the morning when the traffic is just beginning to slip out on to the roads. I heard somewhere that the morning is the safest time to be in any city, because the trouble-makers are mostly in bed. It seems this is true, as everyone I crossed paths with that morning was very kind and wished me a good morning.

As I turned down Duke Street I was finally starting to wake up, otherwise I wouldn’t have noticed what I noticed. A carpet moved. That’s right: just a normal, indoor/outdoor carpet on someone’s large porch rustled, as if it was alive. I slowed down. Then I saw the man.

He was sleeping under the carpet. It was a rather chilly morning, and he turned over under the carpet much the way I had been tossing and turning in my warm, soft bed all night. He had a flat, rather white pillow and wore a winter cap on his head. His black hair was long and greasy. I sighed and kept walking.

“The kingdom of the heavens is among us!” Jesus called out to the crowds, and what an amazing idea, that heaven is here, in the streets and the houses, the alleys and the railroad tracks. The porches and the breezeways. The kingdom of the heavens.

But as long as there are men and women sleeping under thin carpets on cold nights, we still have a lot of work to do.

Please keep doing what you’re doing. Please keep feeding the hungry, visiting the widows and the imprisoned. Please continue to fight human trafficking and free us from our addictions. Whatever you are doing for the least of us, you are doing for Christ himself.

Please keep doing what you’re doing. And if you’re not doing anything, find someone who is and then help them.


2 Replies to “The Man I Saw Under the Carpet”

  1. This is a great reminder, thanks for putting this out there today. I love the mornings, especially the early mornings when it seems like you’re stuck between night and day. I feel like you see so much more then.

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