On our way to Jackson Tennessee to meet family, Gene and I stopped in Nashville at a McDonald's to grab a quick bite to eat and shoot a file over to a client.
As I was coming out of the bathroom to pick a table to sit at, I noticed an African American lady ,probably early 60’s, dancing to the music and singing along. She looked beautiful. Her hair looked pretty, she was wearing a really nice blue top with a pretty blue scarf that had silver specs through it. I remember thinking to myself "Awwe, God love her, what a sweetheart."
I don't know what it was, but something inside of me pushed me, and I went over and grabbed her hands and started dancing with her. We both laughed. And I sat in the booth I had picked and I looked at her and said "That was awesome. Stay young, I love it”.....
She started asking me all sorts of questions "Where are you from, Where are you headed" and she wanted my whole life story. I shared some with her as Gene joined us with the food. She talked to him a bit, and then excused herself and said she was going back to her table.
Instantly my heart loved her, and I told Gene how sweet she was. We ate and sent the file and headed back out to the bike after saying goodbye to her. I watched her as she stood in the window watching what she called "Two love birds on a journey". I motioned to Gene to look at her as she had her faced pressed as close to the window watching us and waving.
"A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal." ~ Steve Maraboli
I put my helmet on and said again "Oh babe, she was so sweet, I just love her." Gene came over and quietly said "You know she's homeless right babe?" I looked up at him in shock and said "No!! How do you know?" He pointed out that she had her little bag that she carried of clothes beside her, and her newspaper was all over the table with some belongings. I was shocked as I looked back at her still waving. "But she was dressed so nice and her hair was so pretty", I stated. Still shocked and feeling so hurt for this lady. I couldn't handle it, I took my helmet back off, fighting the tears and told Gene "I'll be right back"
She watched me as I ran back in the McDonald's and met me at the door. It was a moment I'll never forget. It was like the world paused as she stood there holding the door open for me. In that moment, I noticed her messy hair, that was standing up straight and had pieces of fuzz and what looked like bits of tree leaves. I noticed her beautiful blue shirt was stained and had dirt all over it. Her scarf that I thought was so pretty was ripped and had matted strands of thread hanging down. I looked at her hands which were covered in dirt and her nails were ragged.
Then I looked at her face. Such a beautiful face with the biggest brightest smile. It was rough and dirty as well. Then the pause ended and she was in front of me with the biggest smile saying "You came back, did you forget something?"....I grabbed her dirt stained hands and said "Yes..I forgot to hug to you. You are so beautiful and carefree, and you made my night. I just wanted to let you know how special you are, and that Jesus loves you and cares for you."
She didn't move nor say anything. just stared me straight in the eyes as tears started to fall. I continued and I don't even know where the words were coming from, but in that moment, they were spilling from me with such a urge for her to hear.
I wanted her to know she had a purpose. "I don't know you, but I do know that by you being so kind, and having such a sweet spirit, you have impacted my life and I couldn't leave without telling you.”
She let go of my hands and opened her arms for a hug. I grabbed her, and there we stood, in the middle of McDonald's hugging and crying. "You just made my night honey" she said as we loosened our grip. I smiled and said "No, you made mine”
"I just have a question for you honey...do you know what the weather is supposed to be like. Is it going to be sunny or raining" she asked. I knew why she was asking and my heart felt like someone was squeezing it. "It's supposed to be nice tonight, really nice" I said with a smile.
"Oh that's great" she said as she threw her hands excitedly in the air.
I knew the next night was calling for rain, so I gave her a little squeeze hug and said "But guess what?” I asked. “What’s that's" she replied. I looked her in the eyes again. My heart was so full of love for this lady that I didn't even know. "No matter what the weather is, It's always sunny in your heart if you let Jesus shine through”
More tears fell as she squeezed my hand and said "Honey, Jesus sent you to me. You are an angel"
"I'm no angel, I just think you are special. I hope you have such a great night." I said fighting tears.
I gave her one last hug, and left as she pressed herself up to the window once more to wave goodbye.
I can't recall how many times Gene kept asking me if I was ok on that bike ride to Jackson, but I could not stop crying and kept praying for God to protect her and look out for her.
If she can stay so positive through everything, what did I have to ever complain about. I'm certain she cries when she's alone, but she made the effort to make other people smile. People more well off then her that have reasons to smile, and she did it with everything she had.
It made me thankful for the many blessings God has given me. My children, My home, my family, an amazing boyfriend, and so much more.
If we just stopped looking at all of our problems and stop playing victim to the pain of the past and started counting our blessings, we would realize how much we have.
As Steve Maraboli said "The problem that we have with a victim mentality is that we forget to see the blessings of the day. Because of this, our spirit is poisoned instead of nourished"
Don't poison yourself by looking at what you don't have. Find beauty in what you do. You can choose to be angry that the rose bush has thorns, or you can be thankful the thorns have roses.
Keywords: Homeless, compassion, connecting, connection, gratitude, heart, love, orchestrated, reaching, tears, time-stands-still, touching
I teared up so much as I was reading this. To the point I had to dry my eyes so I could finish reading. So heartbreaking and warming. Bless you.
This is beautifully written Jennifer and very touching...the tears are flowing. You were a blessing to this lady, and will be an inspiration to those who read this. Thank you for sharing it.
Thank you Jenn for the beautiful reminder of what's truly important. ❤
My lord Jennifer, this brought me to tears. We sure are related. I love this story (and you) so much! I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to share this with my friends. You have such a pure sweet heart my dear. I love you my dear. xoxoxooxxooxxoxo
Jennifer......you have an amazing way with words and a truly wonderful heart. I envy the way you view the world and wish I could see it through your eyes. You've touched this old heart.......never change. :-)
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