This morning was one of those mornings where I drove the kids to school in my house-sweats. Hair undone, coffee cup filled – I was out the door.
We chatted, made small talk, and Seb told me all about the sharks he read about in class yesterday in a National Geographic:
“Mom, did you know that the hammer-head shark has a perfect head for hunting?”
“Mom, did you know that when a great white shark jumps out of the water with prey in its mouth, its eyes roll back in its head and are covered by something white so that, just in case there is a bird in the air with a beak that’s close to its eye, the shark’s eye will be protected from danger?”
“Mom, did you know that Bethany Hamilton wasn’t attacked by a Great White? She was actually attacked by a tiger shark and tiger shark attacks are really rare, mom.”
As Seb talked, sweet Kenna sat beside me writing out her three goals for the year: 1) to get straight E’s on her report card; 2) to get better in math; and, 3) to do a back handspring.
I love these kids. LOVE them.
I prayed with them as I always do before they got out of the car. We prayed we’d have eyes and hearts open and sensitive to someone who might need a gesture of kindness or a new friend. We prayed for good attitudes, the desire to do our best… and that our Father would protect all of us as we went our separate ways today. And then – they were off.
As I drove home I thought a lot about where we are at. I thought about the new friends my kids are making, the new friends I am making; I thought about where we are going – and I kept reminding myself of His promises “All things work for good for those who love Him.” (Father, give us strength!)
So as I began the ascent up the hill to our house, it doesn’t surprise me she caught my eye – an older lady, well-dressed with beautiful chocolate skin, a stylish haircut, and a modest handbag on her arm. What I call our ‘hill’ is actually a mountain, and it was obvious every two steps were more than a struggle for her.
I’ve never seen her before; she’s not a regular that walks our hill. But, without hesitation (and I’m not one that ever stops to pick up walkers, believe me – especially when I’m in my house-sweats), I stopped beside her, rolled down my window and said, “Can I give you a ride somewhere?”
Her eyes lit up as she looked at me and said, “Bless you! Bless you! Thank you so much,” as she quickly opened the door and slid into my sweet Kenna’s seat without hesitation. Her smile was bright and beautiful as she said, “This senior citizen was sure havin’ trouble out there!”
I smiled, said it was my pleasure, and asked her where I could take her and where she was coming from.
“Just right up here not too far,” she said. Her presence was bubbly, bright, refreshing. “I took a cab out here to surprise my grandson who just lives right up this hill, but the meter was clickin’ way too fast for me so I had him just let me out at the bottom.” She let out a lighthearted laugh, obviously convicted at how crazy the idea of walking up the hill had now become to her.
No more than 30 seconds of driving (and probably 200 feet of elevation) passed when she said, “Right here – this is it.” Her breaths were still heavy from the mountain-climing attempt.
I pulled over and she was beaming… just beaming with joy. “Oh, thank you,” she said again. “Jesus bless you.” Her gold teeth glimmered and seemed a perfect compliment to her bright eyes.
“My pleasure, I’m glad I could help,” I said with joy as she opened her door. With her body exiting the car, her hand trailed behind and she handed back a little piece of paper. “My grandson is just gonna be so surprised! Thank you, sweetie, you just made my day.”
I smiled, took the paper, repeated I was glad I could help, and off she went to walk up the stairs to the home.
As I drove away I glanced down at the paper – and I was dumbfounded. I started to well up with thankfulness and tears filled my eyes. “Thank you, Father,” I whispered to myself. “I know… I know.”
See, that paper she just ‘happen’ to hand back to me was exactly what I needed to hear. The moment before I pulled over to pick that sweet lady up, my mind had been racing through all the ‘things’ I have to handle today, next week, this year: school, and friends, and moving, and schedules, and stuff; I was starting to feel a little burdened.
Why she had this verse perfectly printed on a goldenrod paper on this morning when she got in my car, I will never know. But I do know this: right there, faithfully, in the midst of my burden, He sent me His heart through a sweet little old lady with shiny teeth and a bubbly spirit and reminded me: Elisha, don’t worry! Even when you are old, My girl, I will take care of you, even when you have grey hair, I will carry you. I made you and support you; I will carry you and rescue you.
I hope that encourages you, too… and I pray you see Him and feel His presence today in the little things. Because He is True – He is real – He is GOOD.