August 28, 2016
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
As I was sitting in church today, a mentally challenged old man sat next to me. He was creepy and had that old people smell, but other than that, his outfit was not too shabby. His clothes were a little faded but it looked marginally clean. I was alarmed and immediately had my guard up. I could feel the fight-and-flight response acutely.
He would look at me all throughout the sermon. He smiled and laughed every time the pastor said something funny, just like everyone else did. Toward the end of the sermon, I had my eyes closed in prayer. When I opened them, I panicked because the old man was reaching for my hand. Just then, Pastor Jo asked if the people who needed surrender and raised their hands to head up front below the stage. I did not raise my hand, but the old man was creeping me out so I got up and walked to the stage.
After the pray over and closing song, I made my way back to my seat. The old man had disappeared. I felt like he wanted something from me and I failed him. I thought of taking him the church staff in case he needed help, but he seemed to have vanished into thin air. As I made my way out the door, I contemplated on looking for the old man or, at the very least, report him to the church staff or hotel security. I left church with a confused heart instead of it being at peace.
Who was he? Was it Jacer, my best friend who passed away some years ago, trying to communicate to me or was it God teaching me how to be compassionate. I headed home utterly in a daze. Was the old man ever real or was he just a figment of my imagination? More importantly, how the heck did Waterfront allow such a person to wander the second floor of the hotel unsupervised?