He would always greet you with a big smile and a firm handshake.
No one could really say they knew him very well.
The lone sight of him walking down the street often worried us.
Watching him, we worried that although he had survived WWII, He may not make it through our changing uptown neighborhood with its ever-increasing random violence, gangs, and drug activity.
When he saw the flyer at our local church asking for volunteers for caring for the gardens behind the minister's residence, he responded in his characteristically unassuming manner. Without fanfare, he just signed up.
He was just finishing his watering for the day when three gang members approached him.
Ignoring their attempt to intimidate him, he simply asked,
"Would you like a drink from the hose?"
The tallest and toughest-looking of the three said, "Yeah, sure," with a malevolent little smile.
As the hose snaked crazily over the ground, dousing everything in its way, Carl's assailants stole his retirement watch and his wallet, and then fled.
He lay there trying to gather himself as the minister came running to help him.
Carl just passed a hand over his brow and sighed, shaking his head.
"Just some punk kids. I hope they'll wise-up someday."
He adjusted the nozzle again and started to water..
Confused and a little concerned, the minister asked, "Carl, what are you doing?"
"I've got to finish my watering. It's been very dry lately," came the calm reply.
Carl was a man from a different time and place.
A few weeks later the three returned.. Just as before their threat was unchallenged.
Carl again offered them a drink from his hose.
This time they didn't rob him.
They wrenched the hose from his hand and drenched him head to foot in the icy water.
Then he turned toward the warmth giving sun, picked up his hose, and went on with his watering.
He stumbled and fell into some evergreen branches.
Even the money in your wallet" "I don't understand," Carl said. "Why would you help me now?"
He paused for another awkward moment, not knowing what more there was to say. "That bag's my way of saying thanks for straightening me out, I guess." And with that, he walked off down the street.
During that time, he went to college, got married, and became a prominent member of the community. But he never forgot his promise to Carl's memory and kept the garden as beautiful as he thought Carl would have kept it.
That's the whole gospel message simply stated.
God bless this person in whatever it is that You know he or she may be needing this day!
ARE LIKE ANGELS, YOU DON'T HAVE TO SEE THEM TO KNOW THEY ARE THERE