Andy by Craig Chapman

My family and I spent three weeks in the USA from December 2014 to January 2015, experiencing various locations, catching up with one of our daughters who was studying there at the time, and, of course, celebrating Christmas together. Several days after Christmas, we were shuffling our way through crowded Manhattan on our way to a restaurant. Although the weather was mild in New York, I was still wearing a coat which had been invaluable in the biting cold of Boston the previous week.

Craig and his family in Central Park, New York

Throughout our travels, we had been struck by the masses of homeless people in American cities. Sometimes it was hard to distinguish between those with real need and those just willing to receive handouts. However, one man on this particular street really drew my attention. Initially I walked past him before realising I had an opportunity to help him. The story relates how I wrestled with whether or not God was prompting me. Though the encounter was brief, it was a graphic reminder to pay attention to the situations we find ourselves in on any given day and the needs of those around us.

I don’t know the outcome of the few minutes Andy and I spent together. I can only hope that the coat proved to be a blessing to him.

Andy, written and read by Craig Chapman. Music is composed and produced by Jason Shaw

Craig recording his story at 1079 Life studios in Adelaide

If you loved this story, get a copy of The Swimmer and tune in to 1079 Life where selected stories from the anthology will be played over summer.

The 2020 Stories of Life anthology – available now online or from Tabor Adelaide.

Feature picture above of Craig and his family at Fenway Park, Boston. Craig, far left, is wearing the coat featured in the story.