This morning, I was passing through MacDonald’s (not my normal route), to get to my bus stop. I can’t help but notice an old lady sitting at a corner, drinking from her mug. Catching a quick glimpse of her, I was about to hurry through the exit, when something made me stop and turn around. I walked back to the old lady in the corner. She was scruffy, with an umbrella, a walking stick and 2 large bags of what looked like garbage (or perhaps scrap paper and cardboard for recycling?). I just felt prompted to do something for her. So I asked if she needed anything. Initially she declined, I asked again ‘Can I get you a burger?’ She replied ‘fish burger’.
As I trodded back into the front of the counter and started queuing, I had no idea why I was doing this, it was a work day morning and I was hurrying to work. So there I was standing in line and I thought, ok, I’ll just buy a burger, pass it to her and get on my journey. However, I heard a voice telling me ‘get yourself a breakfast, sit and eat with her’ I replied ‘God, I already have breakfast in my bag, I’m in a hurry’ Yet, I felt I had to go sit with the old lady, so I bought breakfast.
Returning to the old lady, I sat down, passed her the burger and a hot tea. She started speaking ‘You know girl, I can take hardships.’ I was lost for words. She continued to pour out to me, how she was working a cleaner and used to have 4 to 5 jobs a week but now she’s only left with 1 job due to weakness in her leg. To add on to her troubles, an unknown man had been taking money from her and she felt compelled to give to him, a few dollars at a time. She told me she didn’t understand why but she could not resist giving him a few dollars, not that he threatened or solicited from her, just that he would always say something nice to her.
As she talked, I asked God to help me, give me the words to say to her. When she paused, I looked her in the eye and asked ‘Do you feel lonely?’ She looked surprised and said, ‘How do you know?’ She teared as she said ‘Every night, I feel I’m getting mad from feeling so alone.’ This had me fighting hard to control my tears, I am familiar with the sting of loneliness too. At this point, I asked her did she believe in Jesus, she said yes. I told her that Jesus loves her and asked if she wanted to receive Jesus Christ into her heart, to which she was hesitant. Then, I asked if I can pray for her leg, she replied ‘Yes, and not only for my leg, can you pray that God will take my loneliness away?’ I said ‘Sure’. Holding her pair of hands which were slightly deformed by arthritis ( I wondered when was the last time someone touched this pair of hands), I prayed for her physical healing, and that she can come to experience God’s love, joy and peace. As I prayed, I felt God sees her as His precious daughter and I spoke that out to her. She revealed that she had been hoping to meet someone who can help her with the loneliness problem. Showing deep appreciation, she said she felt a load had been lifted up from her. I assured her God is always with her and He cares for her, she just has to call out to Him.
Before I left, I tried to ask her for a contact number but she said she had no phone and was reluctant to reveal much about where she stays. When I left her, I only knew she stays around the neighbourhood, I’m not sure if I’ll meet her again, but I trust God will heal her physical body and her heart.
While I continued on my way to work, I marveled at this ‘divine appointment’. It wasn’t in my plan to be there at that time, at that place this morning, but I happened to be. I’m thankful that I can be a messenger of God’s love. If a fish burger and 40 minutes of my time can make a difference in someone’s live, I’d gladly do this any day. This is what makes life worthwhile, not wealth, not getting hitched, not having kids, not career achievement or wining the lottery. The satisfaction of doing something that counts for eternity surpasses any sense of achievement this world can give.