Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Response

I was driving home from shopping with my children when I saw them. He was standing in the median holding a sign: “Unemployed. Need money.” I barely glanced his way as I drove past, but then she caught my eye. Bundled in multiple rags to keep warm in the winter chill, sitting on the side of the street, waiting on him. Two large bags beside her, obviously holding the entirety of their possessions.

Just love. I heard Him… and I cringed. I blinked back tears and drove on past. I drove away from their uncomfortable pain, toward the escape of my home. After all, I had my two small children with me.

It is a busy street corner, He replied. You will be safe. Just love. I continued driving. It was past nap time, and I couldn’t ask my children to wait any longer.

Your children will be fine, He told me. But YOU will not be if you don’t listen. Please, love them. And so, a half-mile from my house, I reluctantly pulled the car over and turned around.

As I made my way back to their corner, I found myself wishing they would suddenly be gone. Yet there they were - there she was - still sitting on the corner by the gas station. So, I prayed for guidance, for humility, for love. I pulled up near her, left my car running, and slowly made my way toward her space in the grass.

She looked up at me, nervous. I knelt beside her and smiled. She was beautiful; her name was Annette. I asked a couple questions, and she responded by telling me about her hardships. I knew whatever I could say would never be enough, so I listened, and sat.

Then I told her how precious she was to Christ. I whispered how I wished I could do more. Inadequacy and compassion flooded my soul. I gave her a few dollars, and I left – home to the warmth, peace, and solace that I knew I would find. Yet as I drove home, I found myself weeping.

Thank you, Father. You were right, and I am sorry. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for helping me see her.

Please, read these books (see below). Christ desires for YOU to see His people, as well. Simply love them.


Kellie and Troy said...

Kelly, that is an awesome experience. I have always looked up to you on how compassionate you are to others. You are such a great example of God's love. Thanks for sharing!

kauffeegrl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kauffeegrl said...

(sorry, I messed up my first comment!) This post brought tears to my eyes. In America it's so hard to look at our embodied fears, in this case, a homeless couple. I'm glad you were willing to listen to the Holy Spirit's voice-who knows what your kind words and actions may have done to keep them going a little longer, and try another day. Thank you for sharing this experience!

Mom said...

Sweet Kelly,
You have such love and compassion as you let God guide your actions. God has also given you the gift of writing so eloquently about your experiences. This should make us all reflect on our actions. Thank you for sharing, sweet child of mine.

Jo's Corner said...

A Sweet Response! I BELIEVE that HE would say, "Good Job, My Child."
I LOVE your Obedience! That you listened and turned around. I had something similar happen to me recently. I had spent a LONG day at Mayo Clinic and had just left there when I saw "him". Dressed in ragged clothing. Pretty much the same sign. And, he was right outside my window. I could have reached out my window and touched him. But...I did not.
Instead, I drove up 3 blocks and stopped at some fast-food place, I mean..I WAS really hungry after all. I hadn't eaten since the night before. So I ordered and drove away. When I tried to get back on the highway, I realized that I could not turn left and that I would have to go BACK to the exact turnoff that he was standing at! So, without even rally thinking about it, I found myself once again, just 2 feet away from him. I rolled my window down and he walked to my window. I handed him my hot food and my drink and the change they had given back to me when I paid for that food.
He cried! I cried! That had to be the LONGEST red light in history...or maybe I just sat thru a green light until it was red again. I don't know. But, I got to tell him that I would be Praying for him and that God loved him and that I loved him. And, then the light turned green. I squeezed his cold hand and drove away with tears streaming down my face.
I soon realized that I had given him all of my money, so I had an hour & 1/2 drive home. But, I soon began to smile and didn't think about my own hunger.
I was OKAY! And, I know that he is OKAY! Cuz' I PRAYED for Him for a long time. And, HE listens to us! Isn't it Wonderful to listen to Him?!!

Devion said...

Precious story, friend. God WANTS to use us, if only we let Him. But DO we often enough? I know that I don't.

Samantha Corcoran said...

Thank you for sharing your experience, Kelly! If you haven't yet, watch the movie The Soloist. It follows the story of a reporter befriending a homeless Juliard drop out. Absolutely humbling and convicting. All we have to do is smile, or say hello, and just be a friend. It is so easy! It is Satan who tricks us into thinking it is difficult and scary. He is way too good at his job. Thank you for reminding us that it can be done!