He was 30 years old. A good head on his shoulders. A fine education under his belt. He was what we today might call a millennial with a Master’s degree and upward mobility. He paid the bills as a highly gifted public speaker who kept his audience on the edge of their seats.
No matter how engrossed I might be in an episode of Bugs Bunny or Gilligan’s Island, my ears never missed the approaching rumble. It crawled its way down the alley, one man driving, two other men walking alongside. They hefted garbage cans and spilled their contents into the gaping mouth of the truck.
The only person who named God in the Old Testament was an unmarried, pregnant refugee. A woman on the run. A slave with zero rights. An outsider who was the victim of an old man and old woman who took advantage of her young womb to make a child they could claim as their own.
The young man was lying on the sidewalk with a cardboard sign on his chest. Three words were written on it in big red letters. No exclamation point. No underlining. A simple request. The sign said, “Just kill me.”