My daughter and I were having a coffee at the mall recently. Then I made the decision to go home by bus. My daughter wanted to accompany me home on the bus. I said sure. My daughter is a gentle, caring, loving person. She has had cancer and chemo a few years ago, but she is healed now! Of course, she loves the Lord very much. But she doesn’t care for loud noises and shouting!! At the exit of the mall, there is a ramp for wheelchairs and walkers etc. to lead up to the bus shelter, perfect for me and my walker. It is about 100 feet on an up-slope. When we got out the door of the mall and onto the bottom of the ramp, we could hear a noise and a kerfuffle up ahead in the middle of the ramp; it looked like a jam-up, but we decided to go up anyway. It seemed to be, to my eyes, a red blob from a distance! We got a little closer; it was an elderly lady bent over her grocery cart, who could not make it up the ramp anymore! She was at a dead stop and would not budge. When I got near to her, I asked her if I could help her. She was making yes and no sounds and gestures. I said, “Maybe do you want an ambulance?” and she yelled “Nooooo!!”. My daughter was behind her and was pointing at the phone and asking if she should call an ambulance, and the lady was shouting louder, “NOOOO ambulance!!!!!” She just wanted a push. So I got behind her with my walker, and I don’t know what part I was pushing, but she was bent in half, poor thing! And she was growling and grumping, and shouting “NO ambulance” and my daughter who does not like a lot of noise, backed off about 30 feet from us and was waving at me and pointing at the cell phone to get help! I kept asking the lady, do you want a taxi, ambulance or doctor, etc. and she said “Nooooo!” and it seemed that she just wanted a push up the ramp because her legs were sore. This lady had a bright red jacket on, and a bright red tam from the 1914-18 War that nurses used to wear, with a little tip on top…. and red runners!
So anyway, I kept pushing her, and down the ramp running towards us came a young man with a bright blue jacket and I asked him, “Are you a doctor?” Well, the lady heard the word “doctor” and that did not go too well with her! I didn’t know, but the nice man couldn’t talk English, so he got behind me and he was pushing on my back with his fingertips not to hurt me. After some huffs and puffs and growls, our “train” made it to the top of the ramp by the bus shelter. The bus shelter had benches and there were about a dozen people sitting there waiting for the bus. Well, when they saw our colorful “train” coming at them, and the “engine” was huffing, puffing, and growling, it immediately cleared the bench of people right out!! They flew away, like birds flying off a clothesline! The bench was clear, the lady plopped down exhausted, and I plopped down, also tired, beside her. I was the only person sitting on the bench with her! Everyone took off… By this time, her little red tam was twisted a bit, and she was peeking at me with one eye, and she hollered at me, “What do YOU want?” And I innocently said my usual saying, “Praise the Lord, we made it!” She said, “Lord? I am an atheist, there IS no God!” And my daughter was nervously standing, leaning against the fire hydrant, 30 feet away, pointing at her phone and watch, indicating we are missing the bus!! But I couldn’t leave the lady alone there!! In the meantime, I was trying to befriend her with a few gentle words, and make sure she was okay before we left her, but she was still growly and suspicious and asking what I wanted. I asked her her name, and she said “Never mind”. She did tell me though that she was born in Switzerland, lived alone, had no husband, no kids, no family, and kept repeating she was an atheist.
At that moment, I was thinking to myself, being a senior myself of my age, how fortunate and blessed I am to have known the Lord Jesus who is the Prince of Peace and the Savior of the World, at this Christmas time, for the past 50 years! What a blessing! Yet, for my new-found friend, I felt sad for her that she was so unhappy and angry at life and God, and seemed to suffer from rejection, abandonment, and hopelessness.
So, very shortly, I told her we had to leave to get our bus and I offered to get her a taxi, but she said “No, going home by bus.” She was becoming more friendly with me as time went on, and I just told her she was a Child of God and He loved her very much!! Then we left. While my daughter and I were going home on the bus, we were reminiscing about the Lord’s Mercy, His Grace, and His Love, which is what the Christmas Season is all about!
Jesus is always standing at the door knocking. All we have to do is open the door of our hearts by faith and let Him in!! Remember, God loves you very, very much!!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and all your families!!