I saw this man on the sidewalk sitting on top of a vent to keep himself warm. Kneeling down in front of him, I said, “Hi, my friend, is there anything I can do for you? Can I get you something to eat?” He replied, “Yes, I’m quite hungry. I would sure like a Coke and some hot wings.” I ran to a local market to get him what he asked for, then sat down with him and kept him company as he ate.
Sometimes while we were chatting, he would stare off into space, or tell me he was looking at things that weren’t there–or at least, things I couldn’t see. He told me he hears voices. Voices that tell him to hurt himself, even to jump in front of traffic. I asked, “Can I give you a hug?” He looked at me with these deep, sensitive eyes and smiled as he leaned over to hug me. His smile was so beautiful–it lit up his whole face. I asked him, “How do you ignore those bad voices?” He paused for a minute, then finally said, “I think about my mother who loved me so much.”