It was a cold day, colder than usual, and Matthew Freeburn was on his way to the local diner to meet up with an old friend, John Daniels. As Matt walked down the street he saw a crinkled newspaper lying on the sidewalk, tossed around by the wind. “What a shame” he thought. “What kind of moron would throw their garbage on the ground like that? For God’s sake there’s a garbage can right there!” Matt stepped over the paper and continued on his way. He arrived at Sally’s, the run-down diner on the west side of town. As he approached the door he noticed a homeless man. He looked down, avoiding the gaze of the man as he skirted along the rail leading up to the door. He ran through the door so the man wouldn’t have a chance beg. He looked around at the people strewn throughout the pitiful excuse for a restaurant. He spotted a young man in the corner booth; his face was wrinkled and appeared tired. His hair was thin and gangly. “Creeper” Matt whispered, not really to anyone, just quietly judging. He sighed with relief at the sight of John Benson sipping a cup of house coffee. John Benson grew up with Matt on the western shores of California. They were the best of friends for as long as Matt could remember. This was their first time together since John left for ministry school and Matt couldn’t be more excited to see him. Life had been hard on Matt, or at least that’s what he told himself. “John! How are ya buddy?” With a chuckle, “Eh, I’m alright, and yourself?” “Man, I don’t know. This last week has been miserable. Monday my car died. Tuesday my satellite T.V went out and Friday some strange kid showed up at my house. She was soaking wet, had no home it seemed. She must have been around five or so. Anyway, this girl was lost and looking for her mother, or at least that’s what I interpreted out of her muffled sobs. I really wanted to help. I truly did, but I mean, Monster Trucks was on and I never miss an episode! I told her I couldn’t help and then sent her on her way, her tiny shoes tapping down the cement steps. There were other houses in the complex. Good thing I was recording my show!” “Man, sounds like a real tough week. Sorry about all that. I just can’t believe someone didn’t help that poor girl. She must have been so scared being all wet and alone in the dark. Someone should have helped her, oh but not you of course, you were busy with other things. Someone just can’t go barging into other people’s lives ya know? What’s wrong with people these days anyway? Not everyone could have been busy. The way I see it society has become a cesspool of evil and corruption. Hypocrisy takes wing. Lies and deceit roam the streets. Agony and pain claw at our hearts. Promise me Matt that if I ever act in such a way you’ll intervene and set me straight. I just couldn’t bear it if I turned out to be the kind of person that wouldn’t even help a little girl lost in the rain.” “Man I promise and the same goes for me. I don’t want to be like the rest of the world. I don’t want to be greedy or selfish. I want to be generous and kind. I want to be the best mankind has to offer!” “Me too!” With that they stood up, tossed a ten dollar bill onto the table, said “Keep the change,” and headed towards the exit. They headed down the wheelchair ramp together when the same homeless man that silently accosted Matt upon his entrance raised his voice and asked, “Sirs could you spare any change for a freezing man?” Matt and John kept on walking.
Blinded by the Dark
March 25, 2009