I looked out of the church office door earlier this week and saw a young lady standing by the front steps of the chapel. There was an older gentleman there with her. I had started out to the mailbox but when I saw the two folks at the front steps I stopped. I stood there and watched them for a few minutes. I was a little apprehensive about going out. We have people that come to our church doors weekly asking for money, gas, food, etc. There are times that I'm completely at ease. Other times, I'm very nervous and anxious. I always try to follow my intuition, discernment, the Spirit's leading or whatever you might call it. Jeff, our Worship Pastor, came down the hall and I mentioned that there were a couple of people on the front porch of the church. He said yes, that it was Rose, a homeless young lady, pushing a grocery cart and Tom, a homeless Veteran, riding a bicycle and living in an abandoned building. He had been talking with them. After speaking with Jeff, I decided that they were probably harmless and took the mail to the box. I was headed back inside when I felt "prompted" to go and speak to them. Rose, a very pleasant young lady, was very talkative, much like myself, and the conversation flowed freely.
Rose is 18 years old. She had been kicked out of her home by her mother and was given 20 minutes to pack any essentials she would need. With no place to go and no job to make a living, she struck out on her own, hitchhiking across the country. She had found a kitten a few days prior that she named Cookie. She was giving such great care to that kitten. Care that she probably craved for herself as well.
Jeff had found out that Rose had relatives in Asheville and he was in the process of getting her a bus ticket there. In doing so he had found out that she couldn't take the kitten aboard the bus. She said that only if we found the kitten a home would she go. Fortunately, one of our church families was able to take the kitten and Jeff and Josh took her to the bus station.
I haven't been able to get Rose off of my mind. Others have come through our doors and left and I haven't given them a second thought, but for some reason Rose has stuck. She touched my heart. I don't know why. I thought about my own children. What would they have done in the same situation. What would I have done had that have happened to me? Could I have survived? I have prayed for her. Prayed that she was able to get to her family in Asheville and that she arrived safely without harm coming to her. I pray that she read the LIFE book that Jeff gave her and that her heart would be touched by the words in that little book and that we were able to impact her life for the short time that she was here.
How many people do we come in contact with everyday? People that are hurting or that need encouraging? How many chances do we get to make a difference in someone's life? Do we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to tell someone about the Lord when we get a chance? Do we take every chance to offer a kind word or deed? I will still listen to that small voice that "warns" me but I think I will be more open to show some kind of hospitality to those that are "sent" my way.
Until we meet again,
* Names have been changed to protect identities.