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untitledSomething very beautiful happens across the street. And it’s been happening for quite some time, long enough so that I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started.

I don’t often see them go into the apartment complex across the street.

I’ve only seen two or three enter the building over the years.

They looked as if they’d lost all hope. Their bodies bent by some unseen weight on their shoulders.

As if every drop of strength had been beaten out of them.



under the influence

seemingly at the end of their rope.

No, I haven’t seen many go in, but I have seen them come out.

Usually between 8:00 and 9:00AM. Sometimes just one, other times they exit in groups of two or more. Always groomed. Clean clothes. A travel coffee mug in hand. And on their backs, a backpack that I imagine is filled with their meager belongings and maybe a snack for the road. Their bodies still bent, yet maybe a little less so.

I think an angel lives across the street.

A kind soul who takes pity on those who live on the fringes of society. A loving human being who gives them shelter at night. An angel of mercy who washes their clothes and lets them have a shower. A compassionate man or woman who may even feed them breakfast before they head out for the day to face the harsh reality of their lives on the street.

The actions of this angel do not end homelessness in this cold Canadian city. These actions do not provide a permanent solution to homelessness. But to each individual person who is touched by this angel, these actions must mean the whole world.

I don’t really know what happens across the street. But I believe I am witness to something quite extraordinary. The truth is, I don’t think knowing more is even necessary.

Something tells me the benefactor across the street is not doing it for recognition or praise. That shining a light too intensely on his or her kindness would somehow ruin these beautiful acts.

I think an angel lives across the street…and that’s enough for me.


I have marveled and wondered a lot about the activities across the street over the years. Does your neighbourhood have an angel? Can you think of a time when you witnessed an act of compassion and kindness that touched you deeply?