“Our talk was simple and quick, but real and genuine. “

For two years I’ve felt led to reach out to this man experiencing homelessness in Santa Ana. I remember watching him through my living room window, pacing back and forth in the middle of the road, shaking his head, while staring at the ground. Cars were always honking, and steering around him to avoid a collision. I have seen this same scene, over and over the last two years, and I myself had to once avoid him in traffic. He’s the man in Santa Ana that everybody knows, but nobody really knows. Recently, my friend Kim shared his name with me. Tony. The other day I finally approached Tony. I was scared, curious, and full of faith. As I approached him, his head was down and he was shaking and pacing quite erratically. “Hi Tony”, I said. Immediately he snapped out of his current state and said “what’s up man”, back to me. All the ideas, and preconceived thoughts I had about Tony began to vanish. What was revealed was a human being, ready and willing to have a conversation despite the way he normally appears. He fought through coming in and out of episodes of shaking to share with me that he’s from Santa Ana and has been out here on our streets for a few years. Our talk was simple and quick, but real and genuine. At this point, I don’t expect to have deep challenging conversation with Tony, but we both seemed satisfied with dignifying talks about how are days are going. For now, that’s great. I’m pleased to get to know my neighbor that’s alluded me due to my own fear of approaching him. There’s something special about Tony. Excited to uncover his created value and purposes. Grateful for his yes to being part of Faces of Santa Ana.