She wasn't there today. The sun faded woman with the brown eyes, the piece of cardboard she sat on, the plastic cup for coins, or the dog.

She had been sitting on the steps of the old chapel. I often came there to pray because it was always deserted. Too small. Too old. Forgotten.

A state of Grace.


Maybe that is why she had come there.

She was sitting then, elbows on her knees, the dog lying beside her.

He looked up as I approached.

Looking right through me with his soulful gaze.

Not begging. Just looking.

She was the beggar.

Her eyes smiled.

I am asking, they said,

but I am content to just share this place with you.

I have nowhere else to be now then here.

And neither do you.

We are waiting for the only thing worth waiting for.

You know that don't you?

I had forgotten.

We just sat and listened for God to pass by.

I gave her the money I had, and patted the dog.


David Russell OFS

San Steffano, Assisi