It was Thursday after school, so after stopping to pick up Great-Grand-Daughter (hereafter called GGD), we were off to adventures. We didn’t know what, but they are always welcome.
In what is becoming a common problem, I got on the wrong street and we came out on a rather large lot behind a warehouse. There was a woman who was pushing two shopping carts. She would push one forward about fifteen feet; then she would go back and get the second one. We watched her a bit. Then on a whim, I said to GGD, “Roll down your window—Woman was on the passenger side—and ask her if she wants to go to that Mexican restaurant located nearby.” So GGD did. Woman responded that she would love to but she couldn’t because of the dog in one of her shopping cards. But she said she was hungry so if we had any leftovers we could bring to her, she would be grateful.
GGD and I went to the restaurant; it was not what we expected so we didn’t stay. However, if you know the tender heart of an eleven-year-old GGD, you know that was not the end of the story.
GGD asked what we were going to take Woman to eat. I didn’t think it would be so bad to forget her. After all, if she had money enough to feed her dog, she could feed herself. But no way was that going to happen with GGD. Now this is somewhat of a coincidence, but there was an off street sign that said “Enter here for MacDonald’s.” Well, how much plainer could God get in my face! So we went through the drive way and I bought a chicken sandwich. Although I pointed out to GGD that Woman was probably not in the same lot so we wouldn’t know where to find her. Unhampered GGD told me to go see.
Now that is a lot of background to get to the meat of this story.
So around the blocks we go to find Woman. She was close to where we left her. She was putting down a tarp in a corner of a building where she was protected on two sides. When she saw us, she came toward the car. The dog was out of the basket but tied securely to something. He couldn’t reach us, but it was obvious that he was protection for Woman. He didn’t settle down much while we were there. We gave her the sandwich, looking for an opportunity to “witness” for Jesus. She saw an opportunity and started “witnessing” to us. We ended up having a pleasant conversation about Jesus’ coming soon. She said she would see us when we all get over there. GGD and I took out for home. We talked about how smart Woman was. Although it was 4:30, she was staking out a place to spend the night. She obviously was not there to carouse the town. I had thought her dog was a needless expense to her, but I realized he was a very necessary protection. She was clean, maybe that McDonald’s nearby helped out that way. But where did she leave the dog while taking a restroom break? I don’t know a lot about that kind of life; in fact, I’m ignorant about such survival issues.
GGD asked me why it seemed that Christians were sort of hard-hearted toward street people and the homeless. Now, my Christian friends, answer that. I had to acknowledge that if GGD had not pushed me, I would have driven on by. I tried to explain that addictions of some kind were the root cause of most of the homelessness and there are quite a lot of charity, church, and government opportunities where homeless can go for help. Addictions have to be paid for; most of the consequences are tragic.