Monday, July 4, 2011

I still have a heart

 This is a story written by a friend of mine.  She recently sent me this e-mail about an encounter she had with a  homeless lady in downtown Austin.  She gave me permission to post her story.

I met a lady at the store down the road. We ran for paper plates, etc. She is homeless & filthy; literally covered in dirt. She appeared fearful to speak to anyone but couldn't resist saying "hi" to [my son], who ran up to her & tried to grab her hand. She told me I was "blessed to have him". I could tell by her tone that she had had children at one time. She told me she was hungry & asked if I had $1. I told her I don't normally carry cash but I had some drinks in my car. I told her I'd look to see what I had. By the time we were buckled in, she had walked away. I looked around & saw her getting yelled at by a mom (with the mom's daughter) on the other side of the parking lot. I drove up to the homeless woman as she walked away & I could see urine on her shorts & more dirt. She flinched when I drove up. I told her "it's ok" & showed her the $4 I had found in my wallet. She hesitantly came to my window. I asked her for her name. She was truly surprised. She whispered, "Sandy". Then in a tearful voice she said, "I am homeless but I still have a heart." I introduced myself & asked permission to pray for her. She started crying. I handed her the money & said, "I wish I could do more...Jesus loves you." Through tears she looked quickly skyward & said "I know". She said, "I know now that all I need is food in my stomach, some shade & to be able to pray." She looked at me with genuine gratitude, still crying. She said, "You have no idea how far this will go. I can get some food to eat." Then she became embarrassed about crying in front of a stranger. She quickly turned & walked away. Her voice was hoarse from dehydration. I could tell her body was overcome with the blazing Texas heat. But she walked off thanking Jesus for my piddly gift & because someone cared enough to ask her name. It was so hard not to run after her & beg her to go to an emergency room. I know she probably won't be alive much longer. I may have just paid for her last meal. What amazes me is that this woman is a mother, a daughter, a sister-in-Christ. And no one even wanted to know her name.

1 comment:

  1. At one time, Friend Hubby and I used to do a lot of street ministry. After retiring from the military and moving into the suburbs, we've been removed from it, but I can sense the Lord calling us back to that. I read your post about babysitting in the ghetto and thought the same thing. The book of Proverbs teaches us that when we give to the poor, we lend to the Lord. I think we all need to make some investments in ourselves for the future by pouring ourselves out on the needy at the present. Thank you for the reminder.