I was completely lost in my own world when opportunity met me today. My mind was on receiving a piece of mail I had been anticipating and trying not to get frustrated while fidgeting and tugging to get my key out of the mailbox. I wasn’t looking to make a new friend. No wonder I was so surprised this afternoon when I turned around and almost tripped over an older woman and her shy grandson.
She was striking. Dressed in a bright fuchsia suit with her raven hair in the tidiest French twist I’ve ever seen, the woman reached out her hand and said “I’m Hattie.” I quickly noticed that her hand was trembling. She proceeded to tell me that she had Parkinson’s disease, and was in need of a ride down the street to her daughter’s house. She had been taking care of her grandson, Lance, and they had walked to the grocery store. Her medication was wearing off, she said, and she was afraid she wasn’t going to make it home.
I don’t know a thing about Parkinson’s disease, except that it broke my heart to see this woman, so beautiful, regal even, so weakened as to being drawn to ask a perfect stranger for help. Call it naivety, but I quickly cleared my bag from the front seat, invited them into my car, and down the road we went. Lance was thrilled to find an “army guy” in my backseat, and immediately told me I was “the nicest lady he’d ever met” when I told him he could keep it. Hattie just did her best to hold on to her groceries and purse, and thanked me over and over again during the ride and as I helped her carry her groceries inside.
I don’t know if I’ll ever see Hattie or Lance again, but as I walked back to my car this afternoon, I heard Lance, army guy in hand, say “Nana, I think she loves Jesus like we do. Do you think so?” It was enough to make a tear escape down my cheek... beccause that's what this is all about. Hattie and Lance put a smile on my face today, and I wasn’t even looking to make a friend.