Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Least of These

Okay, I've finally got a few short moments to sit and tell you about what's been plaguing my brain for the last two weeks. Bear with me as I recount the story.....

Lilly, Jake, and I were on our way back from along morning in Chapel Hill. We stopped at Chick-Fil-A in GSO because Jake had to eat. I had just enough money for three sandwiches and a soda to share. Actually I had a buck left over.

There was a homeless person standing on the corner at a stop sign after we exited Chick-Fil-A. He was holding a sign that said "Cancer patient, please help". So I rolled down my window to hand out my dollar while cars were lining up in back of me at the stop sign. I was really taken aback when I realized that it was a woman holding the sign.

She seemed well spoken, and her clothes were not tattered, but she was so thin! The sun hat she wore covered an almost-bald head. My heart sank into my stomach as I pulled out onto the main road. Then my heart started pounding and I was praying to God to help me. As I was praying I pulled onto the highway but was led by the Spirit to get off the next exit.

I turned around and went back, stopping for water and cash. I prayed the whole time I was driving and just felt such an urge and compulsion to do something for this woman. So dumb me drove around again to the same stop sign, I handed her the cash and the water. I asked her if she'd eaten and she said no, but she'd be okay. I asked her to come with me to Chick-Fil-A, but she again said she'd be okay and glanced back at the cars impatiently lining up behind me again. So I left.

I cried the whole way home and "that was the 'least of these', that was the 'least of these' ran over and over through my mind. The lines of her face and the picture of her frail frame would not escape me. I wanted to go back again, actually park my car and go talk to her. But I was running the risk of being late to get Sadie from school. So on I drove.

I didn't sleep at all that night and prayed for this stranger all night long. I asked God to protect her and provide for her. I drove back the next day and she wasn't there. I drove back the day after that and she wasn't there either. I decided that I had given her enough money for food for a few days at least, so I would wait a bit and try to find her. I am fascinated with knowing this woman's story; how she got to that place; how else can I help her?

I drove back this past week when I was in GSO and I didn't find her. With the price of gas I can't afford to keep driving there every day. A friend said she saw the lady that I described in the area. So this week I will make another trip. Maybe I will hear her story. Maybe I will bring her home with me. Of course there's the side of me that says maybe I'm nuts, maybe she's a fraud, maybe I'm naive (okay, well I know that I'm naive, but God made me this way). I'm still praying for her regardless. I'm praying that maybe I will touch her life as she has touche mine.

~Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us. (James 1:27)