Paul, we'll call him, since he was quoting Thessalonians and calling this passage a comfort in his suffering:
Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay affliction to those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted with us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, giving vengeance to those who do not know God...
It seemed a little in your face.
But then he closed the Bible and showed photos of the money strangers had pressed on him the night before Christmas. Three one-dollar bills. He swiped to a twenty. Then to a hundred. The week before someone else handed him a pair of new work boots worth $180.
He wasn't even flying a sign, he said. Just sitting outside. The girl who gave him the hundred dollars was maybe 20 years old.
What did you do with money? someone asked.
He thought about getting a motel room, Paul said, but instead gave half of it away to others on the street.
He's a welder and iron worker who used to sell handmade crosses on the roadside. To support his broken ankle, he had fabricated a homemade walker out of bicycle parts and castaway materials.
Rolling through Lowe's, Wendell noticed a Mexican man following him and chuckling. When they reached the checkout, the man tried to make himself understood.
Across the language barrier, they worked it out. I have two of those, the man was saying. You are welcome to one.
Now Wendell had two, one of them store-bought. He'd brought in his three-wheeler in case we could use it at the Day Center.
We passed, but held onto the spirit of giving that passed through the day.