The woman cleaning the public bathroom: I walk by and see her face because it radiates with joy. “Jesus, do you want me to speak to her?” My heart hears, “Yes.” When I turn around the corner she is gone and I wonder if I heard His voice or my own. I think, “If I see her again, I will know.” Two hours later I do see her, but this time she is across the park and I can’t get to her. “Please bring her closer.” A few minutes later, I gently touch her arm. “I could not help but notice how much joy you have in your work. Your face just shines. I believe Jesus wants me to tell you that HE sees your joy, too.” Her eyes tear and that beautiful smile gets bigger. “My last job was only one day a week and I just got this job last week. I am so thankful.” Twice she says, “I just want to take care of my kids. I just want to take care of my kids.”
Susan: I’ve not seen Susan in seven years. My friend and I are having lunch at the restaurant that Susan and her husband built. She approaches me and asks me about my oldest son, Trey. Not only did she remember me, but she remembered my boy’s name. I look at her, really look at her, and ask how she is. She says she goes out on a date here and there but nothing big. I figure she’s divorced. After lunch, I wait for her. She comes from the back and I tell her, “Thank you for remembering me, and thank you for remembering my son, by his name. I want to also tell you that you are not alone. God is always with you.” We chat for a few minutes and the things she says seem familiar to me. I tell her about my cancer and I realize her husband has passed; he died from lung cancer. I can tell she is struggling; still trying to get a grip on her loss six years ago. Even in her uneasiness she is strong and moving ahead for herself, and her daughter. Her face, her voice; they are resilient – even in the unknown. She is the reality of the woman who is left to the business of raising a child without a husband. Her God-Strength, in her vulnerability, humbles me and causes me to think deeper of these. She will always live with cancer because it has altered her course… forever. My heart is heavy and I pray for her, and myself.
Strength to strength, One Woman at a Time,