When she is finally settled into the front seat of the van, she smells of stale beer and cigarettes.
It has taken some time and a lot of effort for her to negotiate the 60 feet from her front porch to the driveway. She uses a walker to keep from tripping and falling. After we have started down the road, I learn that she is almost totally blind . . . . . . Diabetes!
For MUMs, this is one of those "go the extra mile" rides. It's late Friday, and she has weekend custody of her 12-year-old son. She needs to go pick him up, but he's way down in Lawrenceburg. MUMs usually doesn't drive out of the county, but it's the weekend before Christmas, and there's no other way for him to get here. How do you say "No" in the face of such glaring need?
On the trip down, we "visit" a bit. . . . .
Being curious, I ask, "I noticed that you live alone. How do you cook, being there by yourself?"
Her reply, "I mostly use a micro-wave, the old kind with the dial, so I can know the cooking time by where the dial is turned."
When I ask about how she came to live alone she turns a bit bitter. We move on to something else.
"What kind of food do you like?" Her short reply, "I USED to eat Mexican."
I think, to myself, "Maybe next week, someone can take some Taco Bell over for a Christmas gift."
We make a quick stop in Mt. Pleasant to pick up Robin (my wife) and then on to Lawrenceburg.
We pick him up from an apartment in a housing project. He comes out carrying a cardboard box under his arm. It is his suitcase.
We are impressed with how pleasant he is. He's quiet and serious, and he's just a little bit slow, but very courteous and very friendly. Turns out, he was a crack baby. She and her (former) husband adopted him when he was five. She was on staff at the orphanage at the time, and she knew that no one else would ever adopt him. She loved him deeply and she took him "to raise". Life hasn't worked out that way.
They hug in the back seat. "Hello, Momma."
On the way back, while they're "catching up", Robin and I mostly listen.
Now that he's with her, he can hang her decorations, like last year!
It's good to have his eyes to help her!.
He'll hang the lights, too, but "Only on the inside this time." Last year, he was a little scared up on the roof, and it's too late in the season to put up the outside lights, anyway.
He may not get to see "Sis" this year. She'll be coming down to Lawrenceburg for Christmas, but he'll be up here in Columbia with Mama.
They'll work it out somehow.
We are praying that soon they will have the Christ of Christmas in their home and in their hearts, so that He can help them to work through all these issues. Alas, her bitterness and unforgiveness seems to be blocking out that particular kind of help.
Arriving back at her house, Robin and I linger in the driveway long enough to watch the boy guide her safely up the walkway to the house. Then, up each of the steps to the front porch. Then, through the front door. As she disappears inside, he stoops down to pick up his cardboard box of clothes, enters the house and closes the door.
He is ready to "be her eyes" for another weekend!
As we drive away I cannot help but take note that there are no less than seven churches within a two-mile radius of her home.
If someone invited her to one of those churches, she would probably only go for the company . . . . . to soothe her loneliness.
And, even if she WERE going to church, her bitterness would probably continue to block out the forgiving love that Jesus offers . . . .
But, who knows, after she's been there a while . . . .
The King will reply,"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me." Matt 25:40(NIV)
There are two ways to spread light - to be the candle or to be the mirror that reflects it." Edith Newbold Whatrton
(above written December, 2005)
On the 6th Day of Christmas - Even God Was Little
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