Woman with a shopping cart

Is God inside of her?

Today’s letter rides on the coattails of yesterday’s. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you start here.


In addition to cauliflower pizza crust, I saw lots of homeless people in San Diego—not as many as I did last August though. I wondered if they find other sidewalks to inhabit during the week of July Fourth, avoiding crowds by choice, or government suggestion.

“Good morning,” I called as I was running by on the harbor boardwalk.

Snapped out of her quiet gaze she said, “I was was reading your shirt Miss. I didn’t mean to stare at you.”

“Not a problem! Good morning….have a good day,” I replied.

“You too! Enjoy your run and the sun,” she called with a lilt in her words and smile on her face.

When I passed her the day before (and the day after), she was a bubbling fountain of encouragement to the passers-by, “You are moving right along on that scooter—be safe! How nice of you to hold your momma’s hand—have a great day! Thank you officer for keeping us safe! Now isn’t that a beautiful dog!”

Almost everyone ignored her.

An empty shopping cart was parked next to her thighs. I could be wrong, but I assume she was homeless.

I don’t know her story, didn’t stop to ask, was a little bit afraid of what I’d hear if I did.
She seemed happy…and intent on lifting others up.

Yesterday I wrote: Emerson and Thoreau were transcendentalists who believed that God lived within the soul of each person, and this would lead him or her to know what was right and true.

I think I could see God in the woman who read my shirt. Why couldn’t I see God in so many of the other bedraggled souls sleeping on the grass and break wall rocks?

Recently I read an interview with Roland Merullo, an author who writes novels with a spiritual emphasis. He said:

My childhood was far from horrible, but we all have our pains and challenges, and I’m—well, obsessed wouldn’t be too strong a word—with how we deal with that. And I want to pass on to my children as little of that as I can. Some people indulge their pain and pass it on. Some fight it to a draw. And some people transcend. My goal—reflected in many of my characters—is to transcend. Not there yet.


How do you deal with your pain?