I had one of those mornings a couple weeks ago, the kind of morning where I woke up a bit late, the kids were running late, it took Rachel forever to eat her cereal, I was late getting my morning coffee, but finally, Rachel made it to safety patrol for the school and I got in the van to drive Eddie and Hannah to school. As I was driving, I was pretty cranky, but managed not to yell at the kids which is a miracle in itself. In my head I was throwing a pretty good pity party. Fortunately, there were no crazy people in the car loop honking horns or taking forever to make the left into the school. I dropped Eddie and Hannah off at the front of the school and as I was driving slowly in line leaving the school, that’s when I saw this first mom.
Lately, I have recalled the face frequently in my mind. The cheeks on her face were red and splotched as tears spilled down her face. Her hair was thrown back in a quick pony tail with hair coming out of it in many directions. Three kids were in her car, two little ones in the back and one that was dressed for school. She wiped her face several times as it was evident she was trying to put herself together. Fortunately, she never noticed my stupid stare in the few seconds her image imprinted itself in my brain. The child in the front seat had brown eyes and was staring openly at his mother with a face filled with concern. I had never seen her before and I’m not sure if I will again. I have been there before, in her situation. The times where you are overwhelmed and the tears are hard to control. My heart was filled with empathy. After seeing her and then driving by her, my pity party vanished as I realized how good I have it.
That same night, my kids and I were riding bikes through the neighborhood delivering invitations to our neighbors for a cookie exchange we were having in our neighborhood. As we rode our bikes by a particular townhome, a women stepped out holding a small child, most likely under the age of one. We were a bit of a distance away from her, so we crossed the street and rode our bikes up to her. The kids stayed on their bikes, and I got off of mine so I could give her the invitation. As I approached it, I saw the tears on her face as well. Tears were actually on her eyelashes and she quickly wiped her face as I drew nearer. I invited her to the event and talked with her a bit. She is new to the neighborhood and speaks excellent English, but profusely explains how she needs to learn English, when I don’t know but about 12 phrases in Spanish. She explained to me her loneliness for others.
These 2 women in my mind represent so many people in our society that perhaps go unnoticed, but yet, they are hurting. JR constantly reminds me, “People’s lives are usually worse than what we can imagine” I’m not really sure why I am sharing this. You see, I am reading this book called The Reason For God and I am so impressed at the authors ability to tell us, quote is mine because it’s how I interpret it “Hey, we’re all screwed up – the only goodness we get is simply an act of God’s grace – don’t think you are better than you are, don’t judge people, love them, be there for them, help them, reach out to them. Don’t ignore them.” So, I think of these 2 women. I met the one woman, because she did come to the cookie exchange. Join me in prayer for both of them.