InPursuit

Hands and Feet of Jesus {A Widow’s Love}

On my way out the door to a Women’s Conference, running late as always, I was slowed down by the red and blue flashing of the ambulance lights. There she stood across the street. With tears in her eyes, she watched the cold piece of steel-on-wheels rush her husband to the hospital.

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Feet planted on the sidewalk and hand on the doorknob. I couldn’t move.

Why hadn’t I taken the time to know my neighbor? So many years living here and I don’t even know her name.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t just get in the car. I couldn’t go to a Women’s Conference and lift my hands to praise Jesus, if I couldn’t even be the hands and feet and heart of Jesus right here.

Oh, how difficult this is for this awkward introvert. How I wished my husband was there. He’s so much better at talking to people.

And while I was figuring out what to do, I realized the ambulance was gone. The woman was gone, too.

I walked back into the house. Closed the door behind me and put my bag down. I found a card and wrote a note. It was so long ago. I can barely remember what I scribbled on the paper.

It was something so simple though, “Praying for you and your family during this difficult time. If there’s anything I can do, please know our family is here to serve in whatever way we can. -Darlene and Jason (your neighbors across the street).

I wrote down my address, sealed the envelope, walked across the now vacant street, and tucked the card into the screen door.

The conference finished late. It must have been about midnight when I finally arrived home. The elderly lady and her family were outside talking. Again, awkward moment for this introvert. I didn’t want to get out of the car.

As  soon I got out of the car, the woman crossed the street with her son and daughter. “Thank you so much for that card. That was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for us.” We stood in front of the car for about 15 minutes. She introduced me to her grown children and shared about her husband’s poor health.

I went to bed that night thinking about all this woman shared with me and thanking God for the comfort a very simple note brought.

Several weeks passed when I heard a knock on my door. I opened it and there she was. Her face was in shock and she kept saying, “My Sam is gone, Darlene. My Sam is gone.”

Opening the door, I invited her into the sunroom. Giving her my sincere condolences, I gave her hug and she cried. We barely knew each other. Yet she was grieving her loss in front of me… with me.

Years have come and gone. We’ve built a relationship. Her eyes still fill with tears at the mention of her Sam. Lights go off early at her house. Surrounded in silence, she tucks herself in.

We walk over, sometimes with a picture drawn by my daughter, other times with a little plant or a bouquet of flowers. None of it seems like much. None of it out of this world. Yet when she sees us, she hugs and kisses us and tells us how much she loves us.

I guess this is what Jesus meant by “love your neighbor”. Even when it feels weird, even when you don’t have the words, even when you don’t know each other. One act of kindness is like a pebble thrown into a calm lake. Its ripples reach out far wider than you’d ever imagine. We set out to show kindness, to somehow be the hands and feet of Jesus. In the return we’ve received friendship, the gift of a widow’s love.

I can’t help but believe ministry is happening right here on this street, in this little corner of my town.

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble,” James 1:27, (NKJV).

 

© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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