How you ever experienced something and years later, something crosses your path that revives a memory and gives it that extra special meaning. In this case, a song that was released revived my encounter with Willy. It was early on a Saturday morning, during the summer of 2015. My mission was to check in the dark corners where the homeless would seek out shelter that was safer than the formidable "shelters" like CASS. There is an alley in downtown Phoenix, famously decorated by Carlos Rivas, a valley street artist.
This particular alley has many built-in cubby holes that are equipped with abandoned couches and cover from any unsettled weather — a dark place where I would often find people in need of basics like blankets and food. Willy was wide awake, and for the sake of everyday perception, he was completely sober. He had a smile on his face that lit that alley up, and his presence was genuinely comforting. Willy is a veteran; he served as an 11 Bravo with tours in the middle east. He most certainly had post-traumatic stress disorder, a very real factor that can lead to a life on the streets.
Willy's possessions were few, an old worn-out backpack and a bible that fit the same description. He had nothing but the clothes on his back, yet, he was happy and genuinely comfortable. A comfort very few people will ever truly recognize. Willy is a man who has reconciled his relationship with God. His mission in this life was sharing what he knew to be real — sharing the Gospel with anyone who would give him an ear. Meeting with Willy ( and others in this walk of life ) has skewed my objective perception of people in the church. He has given me a litmus on what being a genuine believer looks and feels like, and it's real.
There is a notable difference in humans who must rely on faith for their daily basics.Well, this is what swarmed my mind when I heard "nobody" from Casting Crowns. I thought of Willy. Even though this version of the song is a modernized "Reformed" version of the original, that was indeed a testimony to what Willy lives for.