It was late evening, the streets slick, the shrubs glazed, the winds boisterous.

My phone rang. It was the delivery man enroute to my home. I shuddered thinking of anyone out in this weather. From my front window, I watched for his truck that had been here before, months back. Illumination from my street lamp tracked more sleet that skittered on my sidewalk, then like carnival monkeys zigged onto the washed-out grass.

Then, headlights pulled to a stop, and the outline of the seated driver emerged from the gloom as he shuffled work orders in his hands, until finding my own. Then, tentatively, he made his way up my front walk, one arm carrying three cylinders of oxygen, his other hand wrapped around a large plastic bag with tubing supplies to replenish mine.

Under the hall light fixture, he appeared weary, slightly stooped, his mask covering his square cheek bones; white nappy hair fringed his navy uniform cap.

“Where shall I put this order?” he asked, straightening his back and warming his great hands with his breath. I had remembered his other delivery and was even more impressed by this one.

That was a late autumn visit, without this evening’s challenges.

Years of serving others had etched compassion upon his character. A lowly man, likely a grandpa full of wisdom and rich stories, he understood the world of the ill and my place in it.

Although a brief encounter, I was enriched by his presence—as if Jesus, himself, had visited me.