How Far Do You Go?

WHEN YOU FIND something in a human face that calls out to you, not just for help but in some sense for yourself, how far do you go in answering that call, how far can you go, seeing that you have your own life to get on with as much as he has his? As for me, I went as far as that windy street corner up around 120th Street and Broadway, and I can see him standing there as in some way he is standing there still, and as I also am standing there still. He is alone and making the best of it with his thin, church-rummage overcoat flapping around his legs. His one free hand is raised in the air to wave good-bye. It was the last time. "Here and there in the world and now and then in ourselves," Tillich said, "is a New Creation." This side of glory, maybe that is the best we can hope for.

-Originally published in Now and Then