The store manager had finally made his way toward her. "Can you fix it? That stupid man broke it!" She continued to yell. Her voice defied her appearance. She was frail, gray haired and leaning on her walker...reaching toward a strap that was flapping on the ground. The manager calmly bent down to put it into place only to flinch as she screamed in his ear, "That's not right…it doesn't go like that! What's the matter with you...are you stupid?" We continued to watch as he tried to help her, only to be met with anger and ridicule.
Everyone went back to their shopping, satisfying their curiosity with the obvious conclusion that she was crazy. But I was transfixed, my heart was being pulled to do something to help her. We got in line to pay. The store manager quickly got on the phone as she yelled to him, "Make sure you get one that takes credit cards so they don't throw me out onto the street again!" She sat down, sharing a bench with an oversized stuffed bear, leaning her head on it in exhaustion as she waited.
I asked my husband to go give her cash for the cab. He said, "I don't have any." I was trying to get him to meet her need when the Lord had clearly put her on my heart and was prompting me to act. The people in line were laughing at her and said to the manager,"We'll go throw her out of the store for you."
I cautiously made my way to where she sat and quietly asked, "Are you okay?" "NO I'M NOT OKAY!" she screamed. Then continued on loudly…"I'm 88 years old, and was recently released from the hospital. I'm being kept alive by fusions." She then began to scream at the top of her lungs again, "AND THAT IDIOT CAB DRIVER THREW ME OUT BECAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE CASH! HE BROKE MY WALKER TOO! Her eyes piercing with anger as she stared at me. Gulp. I wanted to pray with her but was afraid. I took a deep breathe and boldly said, "Can I pray for you?" She snapped, "Go ahead, but do it at home. God's forgotten about me, just like my kids and everyone else. My past three husbands all died. I'm alone!"
Just then my husband said, "Can we give you a ride?" Whew…I'm sure he took pity on not only her but me too. She seemed surprised and said yes. She began to angrily yell about the cab driver again. We loaded her into the car while she shouted at my husband the whole time. She gave us directions…screaming at him as we drove, "That's not the right way! There's too much traffic that way! What are you stupid or something?" She continued to repeat the cab story. It was obvious she had Dementia or Alzheimer's.
He patiently drove and as we approached her home, he prayed for her in the car...out loud...despite her request to pray to ourselves. After we prayed, she changed. Immediately. She softened. She apologized saying, "I'm sorry, I'm not normally like this. I'm tired and need my medicine." I helped her as she struggled to get out of the car. She weerily said, "God has forgotten about me." I stopped, looking directly at her I said, "He hasn't forgotten you Lorraine. He prompted us to step in and help you tonight."
My husband said, "Can we come visit you Lorraine?" Her eyes lit up, "Oh, yes please!" She gave us her number as we walked her to the entrance of the senior citizen apartment complex. We hugged her. As we walked away, she smiled and waved shouting, "Don't forget about me!"
Jesus' love breaking through. An offer to the hopeless, heartbroken, lonely and sick. A simple offer and yet it was huge to her.
Jesus wants to use you every day. He puts opportunities directly in your path and asks you to share the gift that He so freely gave to you. Hope. Faith. Love. Forgiveness. Grace. Mercy. Let your actions shine through the darkness. Spend time in His Word and in Prayer. Allow His love to shine through you. BE AVAILABLE. Share love with those who are hard to love. Jesus in you, the hope of glory.
"To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27
“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them." Luke 6:32