by Mary Mayberry, Kaio Community Member
Sometimes working with Emmaus can get heavy. We often hear heartbreaking stories from our men. We spend time with guys who are on the streets, doing what they can to survive in desperate circumstances.
But sometimes we meet a man in a cape.
Andrew and I were sitting on a guardrail on Outreach when we spied a man in a cape across the street. We simply looked at each other and laughed. Over the next hour or so, we did our normal stuff: we hung out with Sylvester, danced around the parking lot with him, and walked to another gas station to grab our caffeines and snacks and sit on the curb.
Suddenly, the mysterious man in a cape approached. “Hello, Emmaus people!” he bellowed. “Meet my troubled entourage,” he continued, as he directed our attention to his two companions.
Gesturing toward a young man who clearly had a cold, Cape Man proclaimed, “He’s fighting death!” He turned to the young lady: “And she’s tired! And me, I’m just bored!”
We chatted and admired his black velvet cape with a skull border for a few minutes. Cape Man never mentioned his companions by name, and never explained how he knew Emmaus. Then he abruptly left.
Sometimes I sit back and laugh that this is my life. Two nights a week, in all kinds of weather, I hang out with people on the streets. I see, smell, and hear things that no girl from small-town Missouri expects to experience. I get to know people that the world ignores.
Jesus—the ultimate superhero—spent time with the homeless, the outcasts, the people hated by society. And he loved them. Normal people thought he was crazy for the ways he ministered to others. But his life was an example to us.
Some nights I go home and laugh and pray that in the weirdness, I will be reminded of this gift that I have been given: to serve our men. And when a mysterious man in a cape wants to talk, I remember Jesus’ service to outcasts. What a gift we have!