There she sat, this shadow of the woman she once was, wrinkles weaving a story all their own. She’s hard bent over old news of the day, tattered garments hinting at her frayed existence. It’s her that finds me, as I’m frazzled and hurried to scarf down lunch. I nod at her odd ramblings and smile while my head is really glued on the cares of the day, the list uncrossed, that never ending list, and I’ve no time to live in the moment. Ann Voskamp talks about this crazed life in her book One Thousand Gifts:
“Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…. Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”
I breathe in the present and quietly walk through this door in front of me and enter the world of one unnoticed, cast aside, one of “the least of these”, one of us Love emptied all for. When we pause to be present we catch a glimpse of what God is doing, what he values, what he loves. She pulls out Christmas cards from the dollar store mumbling how they weren’t sent and I realize this woman could be my mom, my grandmother…me. I rise to fetch condiments and this heart is feeling drawn, pulled in humbled by the awareness that too often what I love, what I worship, what fills the spaces of my time is not what is of any importance to the kingdom.
I find my hand on her sagging shoulder and lips asking her to lunch as my guest. We break bread, generations spanning time, two strangers with souls sharing life stories and everyday mundane. It comes to an end far too soon. She thanks me and I whisper back all I want is for her to know she is loved. Her eyes smile light we part and I remember the scribbling I did on our blackboard back home a reminder to us who forget and I pray that this LOVE that changed me, that emptied all for me, will be extravagantly given through me.