Gordon is Zac's regular rough sleeper. Depending on how much alcohol he's consumed he can be friendly, aggressive, quiet, loud, or downright abusive and unpleasant. Last night his swagger suggested he'd come straight from the nearest pub.
Sean was leading the study and we were looking at James' letter to the church in particular where he tells them not to have favourites. 'If a rich man comes in and you show him to the best seat in the house and a then a poor man enters and you tell him to sit at the back somewhere you're showing favouritism and that's not good.' (Paraphrased.)
We'd started discussing this when Gordon chimed in. My heart sank; I feared the worst.
He said, 'People ask me why I come to Zac's. I tell them it's not because it's a charity, it's not for the food. I comes because you're my friends, my family.'
Afterwards I gave him a kiss and thanked him. He said, 'It's only what's in here,' pointing to his heart.
Later, as I was wiping the counter down he leant over the bar and said, 'I have respect for you, Liz. I used to say to myself, "Why is she doing this?" but I respect you now.'
It meant such a lot to me.
I'd found the study a little uncomfortable as I am well aware that I have not only more but far more than most of the people there so talking about the 'rich' makes me slip down in my seat a bit. (Not that I think anyone of the regulars would see me as anything but one of them; it's all in my head.)
So Gordon's words were a great encouragement.