We talked to him off and on for about three or four hours. Gradually, I realized he was extremely smart but perhaps a little mentally ill. In appearance, he was your typical homeless man: ripped jacket, extremely dirty hands, half his teeth missing, cigarette smoke clinging to him. But he carried several papers into Denny's and promptly began to read them cover to cover. He was very proud of his quick mind and told us many times that we need to keep our minds sharp as we grow older. He had been to Vietnam in the 70s and had clearly come away with a sense of the evil of man.
What made Michael (when I asked him for his name he said it was the same as Saint Michael's) so interesting was one thing he said right after he said I would be a minister. He said that there was no point in trying to save him for he was too mean and crusty. I stammered back that I could save nobody, but God could save anybody. But his comment brings up a question we should all ask ourselves: do we believe that God can save the dirty and smelly homeless? They obviously don't fit our narrow picture of the ideal Christian: White, affluent, and educated. Of course we believe He can save anybody, but do we live out this truth by evangelizing to any and all, even those different from us?