from-Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three year journey between homes
6/2009 ~ 6/2012
Many of us remember John Breaux, a unique individual who was beloved within the mainstream community as he traveled daily all over the Louisville/Lafayette area in CO on his bicycle. Spending his days filling the plastic grocery bags dangling from his handlebars with garbage he’d pick up along the way. It was his job, it was his mission, it was his life and he excelled in doing it. Always smiling and quick to wave at those he knew and those who initiated a wave towards him.
During our stay in Las Cruces, NM these past few months, I met another unique individual while frequenting a local coffee shop hangout in nearby Mesilla, called The Bean. Offering great ambiance, coffee and local color, this is a welcoming place to connect to the free WI-FI and be as anonymous or engaged with others as one desires.
There is this man who makes his daily rounds with the businesses surrounding the Plaza. I do not know his name* but most of the locals do. Like John Breaux, he has a job and a mission. For him, that job is to be a friendly face, quick to say hello, shake a hand and smile as he points upward to say that the Man up there is real and that He loves “your people.” He shyly proclaims to be a Prophet and gently points the way for those who encounter him towards “Jesus as the Christ.” I believe he is Mescalero, but I could very well be mistaken. He has a kindly weathered face, round and slightly flattened, with dark hair almost touching his shoulders encased with a nondescript dark bandana. He’s shortish, yet lanky with a slight build and a loose walk indicating a hard life, but pride in having survived. While not always clean, he is always well groomed. This includes sporting an endearing scruffy layer of facial hair, which seems to hint at a possible mixed ancestry somewhere in his tribal past.
One day, shortly before we left NM, he came into The Bean and gave his usual greetings to those in the shop. I had responded in times past to his statements of “I am a Prophet, He loves your people, talk to Him” with encouraging and affirming nods and my own statements of “I know Jesus, too, and He’s Lord of all people.”
This day was a bit different. There were many who watched as he approached me, hand extended to greet me with my own hand reaching out to touch his as he says his usual about God loving “your people” and I responding with my usual “yes, Jesus is the Christ.” Slowly he began to bend down towards me as his right cheek brushed against my right cheek giving me soft kiss. As he started to move away, he said, “don’t misunderstand” and I didn’t.
He had blessed me with a Holy Kiss. Romans 16:16
*since writing this, I learned his name is Sonny