I did not want to wake her, so i hung my head and said a prayer.
My eyes started to tear up. The battle had begun. "Lord, please no."
I turned my head into the breeze to staunch the flow. Victory!
How much longer? I looked at my watch and it was almost 10pm.
My hands were trembling as I held the cup of coffee and bag of sandwhiches.
Still no movement from her.
A couple blocks away I see the lights from a coming train and desperately wanted it to awaken her.
I put the food on the seat next to me to keep from spilling the coffee.
(My hands are shaking more feverishly now.)
The train rolls past with horn blasting and not so much as a twitch from her.
"Maybe she's dead?" I think silently.
More prayers offered up on her behalf and I say one for me. Almost ten minutes have passed, so i decide to wake her.
"Excuse me, ma'am."
My heartbeat quickens.
Just as I was about try again she awakens.
"Hmmm." She slowly stirred.
I quickly offered my apologies for having to wake her and gave her the cup of coffee.
Quizzically she looks at me and says "thank you."
She fully sits up on the bench and we start conversating.
"I was dreaming."
Oh do i feel bad.
Three days prior I had heard of her.
Two days ago i offered her a donut while on the way to work. Interestingly enough, I apologized for not having any coffee to go with the donut.
"That's ok." And she gladly accepted the donut.
Today, last night actually, i got her a full meal.
-end of backstory-
For the next 10 minutes we talk about 'mutual' things and we connect with ease.
Our lives are not so different by the way. She is from Pottsville and a recent transplant to Hazleton.
For a few days she has had a rough go of it, but things are starting to fall into place, I assume.
Her story takes on a more personal tone and I become silent.
She takes a sip of her coffee, reaches into the bag and grabs a sandwhich.
In that short span of time I go back in time to 1995 and the beginning of my second year of hell.
Everything becomes blurry as my eyes start to water and my throat constricts.
"Lord no, please!"
(At this moment I recall walking around the streets of downtown Wilmington, Delaware just wanting to find a place to rest my very weary body. It was the beginning of the fall season and I was cold. The mission was full and I had nowhere else to go. So, i wandered the streets for about 6 hours. With no strength in my body to go on I come to the vestibule of an business. The guard inside the lobby said he could not let me into the building but I could sleep inside the first set of security doors. My eyes with tears flowing say a million thank you's. "No one will be here til morning. I'll wake you before anyone arrives." He watches me as I sink to the floor and into a dark abyss.)
She looks at me and i turn my head elsewhere, not wanting her to see the tears.
We talk some more, laugh a little bit and agree to see each other again.
Slowly i take my leave of her and go home. I look back and catch her looking at me. More goodbye's, more prayers and more sorrow in my heart.
Sleep was hard to find. I kept thinking back to my days of being homeless and all the people whom God sent my way to help me. Was I ever truly grateful for them? You bet. Where are they now? If i only knew. God does though and I pray for them and I thank God for the part they played in getting me back to my Saviour.
Even in the wilderness, God took care of the nation of Israel. They never hungered or had want for anything. The prophet Jeremiah spoke of an everlasting love that God bestowes upon His children. It is with that love that God draws us to Him. Even in my time of wandering God never left my side. He provided for me, protected and preserved me. It is my fervent prayer that God would do the same for this lady with whom i have been blessed to meet.
I promise to have her name for you in a future blogpost.
Soli dios gloria
(To God alone be the glory)