I mentioned last week that my younger son helped me pack several bags for the homeless. Sunday, after church, I found my first opportunity to step out of my comfort zone. I had my window rolled down and the two women sitting on the curb waved and said “God bless you”. I smiled and waved before pulling into traffic.
I made the first right turn I could and parked nearby. The women stared at me as I approached them carrying two of the bags. I explained how my son helped me pack them and wanted to give them away. They were excited about the plush throws because a cold front is coming in by the end of the week.
I talked to Lynn for a little bit and asked what kinds of things she needed. She told me they needed a tent because someone stole their travel trailer. I wished them well and drove home. As I put my groceries away in my comfortably heated home I wondered why I didn’t offer to buy a tent. I sat down and prayed and waited.
Then I drove back to the store. I felt a little awkward as I approached and said, “I think I’m supposed to buy you a tent. Would you like to show me which tent you were looking at?” Her husband, Dwayne, stammered a bit and seemed reluctant, but then asked Lynn if she wanted to go.
While in the store, I picked up a few other things for her. While in the check out line she said she hadn’t been able to wash her hair for a month. It did look a bit… worn. On the way out, I told her I thought we should get her hair washed and styled. She was so excited.
It was hard to see someone so excited about getting her hair washed. I do that at least several times a week without giving a second thought. As we waited for a stylist, we talked. She has had a difficult life and some poor choices. Not unlike me, except by God’s grace, I have not been homeless. I suspect some of her choices may have involved drugs, but I didn’t ask. Again, by God’s grace, I haven’t been plagued by addiction.
I took a picture of Lynn, us together, and her with her husband. I gave her my phone number and told her to let me know when she got a phone and I would send her the pictures. Her husband starts a new job on Thursday and I’m praying that things start looking up for them.
I have four more bags put together right now and I pray that God keeps my eyes and heart open. I’m excited to see how the next encounter changes me.