We took Liz’s parent to San Francisco International Airport, and after a tearful goodbye, we headed into the city where I interviewed a fascinating couple visiting from Denmark. They said the longest prison sentence in Denmark, no matter what you’ve done, is 17 years. And there is a quite comprehensive effort at rehabilitation (education, mental health counseling, and so on) while the person is incarcerated. I told the couple we, too, lean heavily toward this type of “restorative justice,” because people often don’t commit crimes in a vacuum. They either come out of disadvantaged situations, or are plagued with mental disorders, or addictive/compulsive conditions… and once these are addressed at their roots, the problems often clear up. What’s more, each life is imminently important to God, we believe, and each person should be treated with the utmost dignity — not merely left in “dead-end” warehousing in a prison. I mean, they’re all God’s kids. Right? …We then headed inot the heart of the city, taking in a bustling China Town, crossed through a “Little Italy” section and stopped for Mass at Notre Dame Church, only to find it was in French. Liz commented about how refreshingly rich in diversity San Francisco is. And after the diversity, perhaps the second most noticeable thing is: the homeless. While here, we spent a good deal of time talking to the homeless, listening to their stories. One man, John, appeared to be in his early 60s. He said he’d been homeless here the past 10 years, no family, he claimed, just an old suitcase he carried about. We had our ‘Jon’athan in a stroller and periodically I would ask Jonathon, 14 months, to “wave to Mr. John.” He didn’t. But each time I couldn’t help but think, really think, that this elderly, rather disheveled looking man, with yellowed uneven teeth, sunken eyes… was once a bright-eyed, young innocent baby — just like our Jonathan. As Jonathan and I walked the street before we met John, people stopped to wave to him, engage him in a smile… as people do. My guess is few try to engage this other John, in any way. Jonathan finally did, however. Engage “Mr. John,” that is. Jonathan, who can say “bye,” but no names, except “Mommy,” turned back as we started to walk off, waved, and said: “bye John.” God’s grace.