Many of us have noticed her at some time or another.
Sometimes sitting on the bench outside a local grocery store, other times on the curb just outside the exit from our local hospital.
Always heavy laden with clothing and sometimes heavy hearted from a life that’s taken a few wrong turns. Many times, talking to herself; fewer times, speaking to others.
My friend first met her outside the grocery store. Bags of belongings in tow, the store would not allow her in with them. Hollie spoke to her, asked her if she needed anything and bought her the fried chicken that she so loves from that store.
For nearly a year now, my friend’s eyes have been open, looking for her whenever she did her errands around town. She saw her many times. Each time she took the time to stop and talk and find out if there was anything she could do for her. As a result, this woman has let my friend into her life and even invited her into her apartment.
We were surprised to learn that the place we would often see her sitting on the curb is right outside her house. That house is just two blocks from where I live. It is an old two-story house that has been divided into apartments. We had always assumed she was homeless.
Two weeks ago we embarked on another Kindness Adventure riding our local buses. We gathered back at my home to share our experiences over lunch. Our conversation turned to this new friend of Hollie’s. She explained that although she felt honored to be allowed into her home, that it was quite stifling inside. A strong smell and the hot weather made it difficult to stay for any length of time. Hollie was asking all of us to keep our eyes open for a little table and 2 chairs that she could put outside so that they would have a place to visit.
Yesterday, at 1:49 p.m. I received this text from another friend…
“I just saw a small drop-leaf table sitting at the curb on S. Santa Fe. It’s in the 2nd block north of Kansas Wesleyan on the east side of the street. I thought of Hollie’s request for that lady that she wanted to get chairs and a table for her porch and it would be about the right size table; she could drop the leaves down to be no problem. I have to go back to work so I can’t go by and check it out but thought maybe one of you guys could get by and take a look at it.”
At 2:32 p.m. I received this picture from Hollie with the message that said, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!”
The key to making this happen in less than an hour for no money at all is this… both my friends not only kept their eyes open, but acted immediately. Sharon spotted the table and instead of driving past and dismissing it because she had to be back at work, texted me. I right away forwarded it to Hollie and she quickly went and scooped the table into her van! The two chairs had been in Hollie’s back yard all along with plants on them.
If you’ll bear with me for just another minute (I know this is a long story), can I make a personal application? I am struck by how I may not be unlike our wandering friend. I have a home. Not just an address on a street, here on this earth but an eternal home to look forward to. Do I continue to wander, as well? I wonder if others would know that I have the hope and the promises of a mansion prepared for me. Certainly, we are not to judge by outward appearances and I’m thankful that God knows my heart. But do I wear layers to guard my heart and talk to myself more than I talk to Him who created me and knows me best?
I continue to learn from the people God brings across my path. I am reminded that though we have made different choices and walk different paths, our needs are essentially the same. We long to be loved and noticed and valued. We want to feel safe and taken care of. And we all need a place where we can sit and talk with a friend.
Inspired By Missions Accomplished With You!