What’s a drunk, dirty, pitiful hobo’s life worth? It’s worth a try, a most earnest good ole college try.

I met Robert as he was strolling by the table with a friend. He accepted the angel pack I offered him and then we began to talk. Turns out after some chit chat that we had a lot in common. He went to Helix High School and competed in athletics as I did also. He ran track, I played baseball.

After a few minutes of reliving our glory days, Robert began telling me about the day he found his brother hanging from a rope in his room. His father had recently died of cancer and his younger brother wasn’t able to cope as well.

He told me that he felt the need to protect his mother from knowing his brothers fate, so he calmly told her to call 911, but she knew something was wrong and quickly became hysterical.

While recalling this terrible moment in his life he suddenly cried out with a load gasp and threw himself into my chest, grabbing hold of me while sobbing. After a few seconds he composed himself and we continued talking.

Robert looked bad to say the least. He’d been living in the canyons along the 163 freeway for months and was obviously drunk. To make matters worse he had a cancerous lesion on the bridge of his nose. The cruelty of life crushed Robert. I was heartbroken for the man.

Before we finished our conversation Robert asked me for money to buy a “short dog” which he said was a fifth of whiskey. Immediately I impassionately began sharing Jesus with him but it was obvious he thought of himself not worthy of God’s grace and so he hurriedly walked away.

As I watched him leave I couldn’t help but put myself in his shoes and think how easy my life had been compared to his, and if I would also share his fate if it weren’t so.

Except for the grace of God, there go I.