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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Handout (04/14/11)

TITLE: Those "Grandma" Eyes
By Donna Powers


This morning, there was a panhandler standing at the entrance of the train station. I’ve never seen that in this town, before. I forked over a buck; after all, the preacher is always talking about how we need to take care of the “least of these.” It felt pretty good.


That panhandler was there again. I guess some other people must have felt the same way I did and gave her some money, or she probably would have moved on. I wonder if she’ll use it for drugs – though she doesn’t really look like “that kind.” She doesn’t even look that poor; her clothes are clean and not too shabby and she didn’t look sick or as though she was under the influence. If I had to guess, I’d say she is in her fifties. It’s just strange to see a panhandler here; we’re a pretty upscale town and I why she ended up here. I didn’t give her anything, today. I figured once she stops getting money, she’ll have to go away.


She was still there today. I know the Bible talks about taking care of the poor people (can’t remember the whole verse, but it’s in there, somewhere in the Gospels or something) but I have to wonder just how far we’re supposed to take it. After all: she looks healthy. Surely, she can get a job if she applies herself? Why should she have to beg for money? Well… it made me think. I walked right up to her and told her, “I’ll say a prayer for you.” She smiled – and, I have to admit: she’s got a lovely smile - and beautiful hazel eyes.

Hazel eyes. My Grandma Hazel had those same-colored eyes (it’s how she got her nickname.) She didn’t live close to us, so we didn’t get to see her, often. But when we went to see her and Grandpa Bob, it was always such a wonderful visit. Her Grandma’s kitchen was full of the smell of home-baked bread and she made a goulash that spiced up my mouth, yet felt good going down into my tummy. And she played the piano; beautiful, old-school hymns about Christian soldiers and the Blood of Jesus. And, after dinner, Grandpa Bob would read us from the Bible. I’ll bet Grandpa Bob knew that verse about the poor people…

Poor people. Like this panhandler, with Grandma’s eyes and a smile that has the warmth of Grandma’s home-baked bread. Jolted from my reverie, something inside my heart drove my hand into my wallet and pulled out some bills without even looking at what I had in my hand. (There’s something in the Bible about that, too, isn’t it?) I gave her the money and watched for that smile. And…there it was. It was just as beautiful, the second time around. I really will pray for her; I will pray for God to protect the lady with Grandma’s eyes - and to find her a job and a safe place to live.


As I came to the station this morning, I confess I was looking for her. I can’t get those “Grandma eyes” out of my head. I spent some time praying for her, last night – and some time online researching social service programs in our area. In Centerville, there’s a shelter and there’s a soup kitchen in Kingsport. There’s even a place where they give away free clothes every Saturday. I printed out some information for and I’ll give it to her today. After all: she can’t go on begging forever. Who knows? Maybe the information I give her will help her turn her life around and….

Where is she?

She’s not there. Is she at the other entrance? No; she’s not. Where did she go? Just when I was all set to help her fix her life, she moves on. What’s the point of


Lord, I don’t understand Your purpose, but please be with her. If there’s something You want me to learn from this, please show me. I can’t get those "Grandma" eyes out of my mind. I know it must mean something, and I’m willing to let You show me what that is. Amen

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Member Comments
Member Date
Carol Penhorwood 04/21/11
Yes, it can be a real dilemma knowing just what to do. Loved your story but was hoping for a happy ending. But life is often not like that, is it?
Sunny Loomis 04/27/11
Good story. We do what we can, but God has His own plans for people.