img_2013Some days in Kensington break your heart wide open with the amount of pain and the loss that you see. They frustrate you with the callous way that those in positions of power treat the suffering. They make you so angry that you are standing in the middle of the sidewalk yelling but really you are holding back your tears.

You watch your friend Josie do CPR on a young woman while kneeling in a dirty park surrounded by broken glass, and your faith in humanity is restored. You watch neighborhood people trying everything they can to help. People with hearts so big. People who are also suffering, but find the strength to help someone else. You stand there with people you only know through this group and you hug and you hope that she makes it. These are real-life angels. Heroes. You try not to break down right there because there are more people who need help. The day is not done.

You go to your last stop of the day and see one of your favorite angels (some of them have a special place in your heart because they remind you of someone you love, or they have a heart so big that even while living on the streets you can see it). He is grateful for whatever you can give him. You all rally around him because you are remembering what just happened with that young woman and you just want to do something to feel good and make him feel good, even if just for a few minutes.

Someone gives him the last of the bananas, and he puts them in his broken suitcase with one wheel on it. The suitcase that holds everything he owns. Two guys come along who are hungry, but you tell them that you are out of food. Then that angel tells them to wait and gives them each a banana from his suitcase.

You hold that kindness in your heart and it shares space with the sadness. The kindness is what brings you back next week.