As we were walking through downtown San Jose, Costa Rica today I noticed an old man I have seen often. In the seven years or so that I’ve been coming to Costa Rica this man has sat in the same spot. It’s almost a cubby hole of a spot. He sits on the side of the street wedged between the bricks of a building and its brick column. He is always dressed in a dark red shirt that looks like it has seen better days. The pants he wears are holely and torn, his shoes beat up.
He sits in his place in the world doing what he loves: painting. He uses small brushes, a sampling of colors, and whatever he can find as a suitable canvas. He is a fixture in these streets and I found a little bit of joy rising in me when I saw him today.
I walked over to watch him paint. He looked at me and gave me his unmistakable toothless grin. He showed me what he was working on and then the three paintings he had completed so far today. For about $6 I purchased one of these paintings. It is not the best painting. It is not the best canvas. There is nothing special about the house that he painted. Yet there is a sense that this man with the toothless grin whose studio is the streets of San Jose, is connected to a higher power; a greater joy; a God who loves him for who he is.
This is where I caught a glimpse of God today.