I saw a homeless man. Not the creepy, smelly, old type of homeless man. This man was between twenty-five and thirty, He looked like a bohemian. He had on jeans with a brown belt, a blue T-shirt with a peace sign on it, and a backpack on his back. His hair was long and he had a beard. On his head was a crocodile Dundee hat, a brown felt fedora. He was smiling looking behind him as he walked and in his hand a tambourine. I couldn’t see who he was laughing at, it looked like he was carrying on a conversation. Then suddenly a small brindle colored puppy came up behind him. I could tell that this was his puppy and he loved it. The man was talking to the puppy as if it were a small child. Not in that sing-song voice we all talk to puppies but more like how we would speak to a five-year old child. “Now, you have to keep up my friend.” The puppy was limping a little. The man squatted down to investigate and the puppy rolled over exposing its pink belly. The may laughed as he looked at the dog’s feet. “Oh, you silly boy”, he said. Turns out the puppy had stickers, for you southern folks we call them sand spurs, in his feet. The man removed them, rubbed the puppy on the belly and off they went. The man was laughing and the puppy was frolicking behind him. All the while the tambourine was playing twinkling sounds in his hand. Then the man started singing. He sang a song about Jericho…”and the walls came tumbling down…” I couldn’t help but smile at what I saw.
This man was happy. I am not saying he was happy to be homeless. In that moment, with his puppy and his song he was happy. Life is that simple. We don’t need to have all the best things money can buy to be happy. We don’t even have to have a puppy following us. (It sure helps, but it is not a requirement.) All we need to be happy is knowledge that God is there and we are loved. He can move walls, put a song in our heart and wag dog tails. Life is really that simple.
I hope that I remember the happiness and love that homeless man was living with that day. Being happy, experiencing love in any circumstance is an admirable thing.