I no longer remember the name of the gentleman in this photo. I do, however, remember that we met on the street my first day in Mompos, a sleepy town on the Magdalena River in Colombia. He said hello, and when he asked how long I would be visiting, I conveyed as best I could in my few words of Spanish that I would be here for three days.
On the third day our paths crossed again. Recalling that my departure was near, he looked me in the eye, placed his right hand on my shoulder, and then prayed a blessing for my onward journey.
I spent maybe three minutes of my life with this kind man. But it was long enough to feel seen and cared for. It was long enough to be blessed. It was long enough that even now, seven years later, I feel his touch.
This photo is one of 28 in an exhibition called “And Who Is My Neighbor?”, which is on display at Milligan College in Tennessee until November 30. It’s also viewable online.