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As I was walking through the park late one autumn night I came upon an elderly woman, who appeared to be carrying on an animated conversation with herself. Her clothes were tattered and torn, her mismatched shoes had seen their better days. She was struggling to push a shopping cart overflowing with what I am sure was all she owned. As she neared the park bench I carefully stepped back behind the tree, so as not to be seen. I was wanting to continue on my walk but I couldnít bring myself to walk away. As I listened intently, this is what I heard her say.
Well this is it, home sweet home. It gets kind of cold at times and I get a bit chilled from the wind and rain.
I can deal with that though, itís the loneliness that causes me the most pain.
At times I have to pinch myself, convinced I must be invisible. Can other people not see me, is that why they pass on by?
Oh how I long for human contact again. Just a quick handshake, a smile or hug. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry.
You know Iíve lost a lot in this world, my family, friends, job and even my home. Sometimes I feel my sanity isnít far behind.
People donít respect me much, they donít even really take notice of my kind.
But youíre my saving grace, why if it wasnít for you I donít think Iíd still be here.
Youíve been such a comfort and blessing to me, always ready to help or just lend and ear.
You offer gifts no one else can give. Like hope, now that one keeps me going. Itís the one that keeps me strong.
I know Iíve made bad choices in my life, but you love me in spite of all that Iíve done wrong.
This isnít my ideal lifestyle Iím living, I guess you could say things are difficult at best.
But like the good books says, this too shall pass and I will give you rest.
So before I settle down for the night, I just want to say thanks again for all you do.
I love you Lord. Yes I can hear you Lord. Yes Lord, I know you love me too.
As the old woman settles in for the night I whisper a quick prayer of my own. With tears in my eyes I turn and continue on my way. As I head towards home I think of all the things I take for granted. I recall the old woman who had so little, yet was able to give such thanks and praise. As I pull my sweater tightly around me to ward off the chill, I know Iíve learned a valuable lesson tonight. God has made our paths cross for a reason. I know the old woman and I will meet again and ours will be a relationship of helping one another. I hurry on my way with an anticipation I havenít felt in a long time. For a change, tomorrow couldnít come soon enough.
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