He first dropped in for lunch a few months ago, and my heart went out to him. Some of our people are so obviously vulnerable.
Three weeks ago, I sat at his table to talk to Eddy ( A pensioner who comes to the Mission so he doesn't have to stay in an unheated house, and for the company.) I finally asked the new-comer his name and felt that he was sufficiently at ease for me to start being nosey. Yes he has a room - at The Kimbrose Hotel, and he's tucked away on the top floor with two others in similar circumstances and he feels safe there.
Today I was joshing with Eddy about some minor misdemeanour. "You would never do anything wrong!" (Eddy was just being polite. ) " Ah no, I just never get caught! It's these blue eyes of mine." I demonstrated opening them wide with a "Who me? Couldn't be! " expression. Brian joined in, and the opening came to get even nosier.
Brian needed to update the photo on his drivers licence. He has tried to get help, and help IS available - to get a provisional license, some lessons and test fees. About £600 worth. But no, Brian couldn't have the £25 to go to the Post Office and have his license renewed.
"I have £25 in The God Fund. I said, I'll take you to the Post Office and we'll get it done."
Everybody should have a God Fund. Most of you would probably want to call it something else, but it works like this. You acquire some money more or less accidently - lottery, tax refund, found it in the street ... however, and you wait until something or someone moves you sufficiently to want to give it away, then you do. It comes with strings though. Whomsoever gets the money never owns it, but at some time, when they can, they give it away again, under the same conditions.
The God Fund has been burning a hole in my pocket ever since my friends Chris and Robin thrust it into my hand for sorting out their computer back in January. I can't wait to tell them where it went.
This afternoon one young man suffering from PTSD is two weeks away from having his license back, and is filled with a sense that someone cares: and one elderly woman has a very broad smile on her face.
I suspect The Fund Manager does too.
I left Brian in good hands...