Sunday, February 17, 2008


Thursday afternoon, as I was navigating the intolerable greater Atlanta traffic on my homeward journey, I happened to notice an aging bag lady as she pushed a battered Wal Mart shopping cart along the shoulder of U.S. 41 in Kennesaw. She was a perfect stereotype; stoop shouldered and bent in an ancient trench coat and ill fitting woolly cap, she trudged up the highway behind the cart containing what was probably all her worldly possessions. As my eyes followed her movements, my heart ached and my mind raced as I wondered how she ended up that way. What set of circumstances conspired to put her in such an unenviable condition? Was it self inflicted? Did it happen suddenly or was it a slow, painful spiral? Was she sane? Where does she lay her head at night? Did anyone once call her, "darling"? Does anyone really care now?

My mood sank as I considered her plight. A dull ache began in my stomach and spread through me as I realized how easily it could have been me making that lonely slog along some crowded thoroughfare.

More than fifteen years have passed now, but once upon a time, I too, was homeless, jobless and seemingly without a hope in the world. I was more fortunate than some. Friends allowed me to sleep in their living rooms and on the floor in spare bedrooms. And for me, that terrifying time was brief. But for a horrifying few weeks, I lived off the good will of others. And with the exception of a handful of nights, that few knew about until this moment, I had a roof over my head. And on that handful of tear filled nights I had no roof, I at least had my car. Someday, I will chronicle that time in a book, but for now suffice it to say, that my dark time was short lived but unforgettable. I was lucky. I had family who were willing to take me in. And I was able to begin again. With the help of loving parents, willing to take back their broken prodigal, and the phenomenal Grace of an Amazing God, I had the chance to start over. Step by step, brick by brick, my life was rebuilt. Today, that fragile, frightening time is but a distant memory. I am blessed. But do I bless others?

A nail scarred Savior weeps from Heaven's throne room for each broken life. His tears flow for those suffering self inflicted wounds as much as those wounded by the enemy. In His Father's house are many rooms. There are rooms enough for all the weary and burdened. But He needs his family to go and bring them in. Sadly, far too often we watch them trudge along, maybe even hurting for them for a moment. Then the light changes and we drive on.

Oh Jesus. Please hurry. The load is too heavy for too many. Please come get us. If ever all things need to be made new, it is now. Until then help those of us who are blessed to become blessings.