Right away my eyes fall on her. I saw her just two days earlier sitting unaccompanied in almost the very same way, but in front of another building nearby. Tonight, during my 9pm grocery run I find her settled on the cold, black metal bench in front of my store. I pull into my parking space, but before getting out I take a moment to observe her from afar and to ask God to lead me.
She is small and appears well dressed in a long, thin, black, leather coat. I can see a wispy white scarf peaking out from beneath her jacket collar. Her hair, a perfect match for the white scarf is very neatly pulled up and back revealing her 60 something features. Beside her sits a large piece of luggage with several bags hanging from it. I get out and walk slowly towards her, trying to meet her eyes, but she does not look my direction. She sits so very still, completely unmoved by the world passing her by. She is not waiting, she merely exists and what I sense more than that is her trying desperately to fade, unnoticed into the red-brick walled background behind her. I walk past.
My shopping is supernaturally interrupted with thoughts of this lonely woman and I know I must speak to her. Gathering my last few items I race to checkout and pray that she’ll still be there. Pushing my cart of groceries I peer outside the door and find her right where I left her as if frozen in time. With only the confidence given to me by God I say hello and introduce myself, she tells me her name is Jean. After a few moments I comfortably take the seat next to her and fixed on her bright, blue eyes I listen as she shares a piece of her story with me.
In the end, I ask Jean if she knows the Lord and sadly she does not. I’ll be honest, I fumbled it, I should have told her that God loves her and he knows her name, but I didn’t. I told her I would pray, gave her all the money in my purse and left.
Sad and slightly discouraged I drive away and promptly ask God for a divine “do-over” and then I am reminded… 5 years ago, I wouldn’t have even noticed Jean. 2 years ago I would have noticed her, but done nothing. Now, I see her, sit with her, hear her and show her the Love of Jesus. That brings me joy.
“I tell you the truth whatever you have done for the least of these brothers of Mine, you did it for Me.” Matthew 25:40