To give them credit, everything was neatly arranged and priced. A lot of the clothing was new. I don't normally spend a lot of time looking through clothes, but I saw a whole bunch of new men's underwear in my size (or rather the size I'm rapidly growing into). It was really cheap, so I bought several pairs. You can never have too much underwear, after all.
I pay for the underwear and throw it in my backpack. As I'm leaving the church, a woman standing at the door asks if I found anything good. I tell her I bought new underwear. She looks at me, puts her hand on my shoulder, and says "Bless you." (Uhm....okay?)
I go out the door and start unchaining my bike. She's still standing there and says "You have to lock it up like that all the time?" I tell her about the one I had stolen, and she again says: "Bless you."
As I'm pedaling off, I take a look at the sign in their parking lot. It's got a picture of their pastors on it, and I realize that I have been talking to one of them. Then, I see the signs for the clothing closet and food pantry. And something clicks in my head:
- I've got my big huge backpack with me, stuffed with everything, as it usually is.
- I carried on about buying new underwear.
- I'm riding my bike, which I keep very secure due to theft.
- It has a couple of bags from the thrift down the street tied to the handle bars.
She thinks I'm homeless!
I can see her giving that same reassuring pat and pastoral "Bless you" to everyone who comes in needing food or clothing. I've just been ministered to while I was buying underwear! I'm surprised I didn't get an invite to the clothing closet.
I've always thought I must be a sight, making my thrift rounds on my bike, laden with purchases. Now I know for sure.
That's me! Eddie the vagabond junker! I laughed about it all the way home.