Lonely Chair-People

I saw a man sitting in a chair outside the laundry mat, as I disappeared inside to deliver a pair of shoes to a new homeless friend who was doing her laundry with the ministry from Church under the Bridge, who earlier had received socks—to wear with her flip-flops.

While inside, I remembered the bag. The one with the brand new scarves and matching hats that a friend purchased from a department store. So I grabbed them from my car, and again saw the young man on the chair, and smiled at him.

Then, another friend inside who has a dog, a hungry one too, needed some dog food. So, I ran after some dog food, and parked in front of the laundry mat again, right in front of that man. I spoke, “Hi, it’s me again.”

He asked, “So who are you?”

I walked over to him. “I’m Pam. I guess, I’m your new friend.”

“No, I mean. What are you doing?”

“Doing?”

“You keep going inside and taking things to people. I just wondered what you’re doing.”

“Oh, those are friends of mine, too. We attend Church under the Bridge.”

“Oh, so you just give people things?”

“I guess you could say that. Friends take care of each other.”

He nodded, and I went inside with the dog food and to get a friend who needed a coat, having her come back to my car. She tried three different ones on, and ended up with two coats. One to use as a layer for the other.

She told me, “I don’t trust Christians too much. I’ve been hurt by them.”

“Well, if you get to know me, I’m sure I will mess up. But thankfully, we can trust God. He’s who, we can lean on, trust, and serve.”

“I need to trust again. I don’t do that so good.”

We chatted for a bit, prayed about her health, her needs, and her desire to find work. And then, she went inside to finish her laundry and I stood there holding a black jacket.

I moved toward my chair-friend. “Hi, could you use a coat? This one needs a person to wear it.”

“I could use one. I don’t have a good coat. That’s a nice one.”

“Then it’s yours.” I handed him a scripture card. “This verse points to the Savior. I pray you know Him, that you seek Him with your life.”

He peered at the card, like he was reading the verse again and again, as he clutched the coat to his chest. He called to me. “You’re a strange lady. Thanks for the coat.”

“You’re welcome. I hope to see you again—some time.”

You know, I spent that hour or so at the laundry mat, flitting in and flitting out, and running here and going there—when in reality, I have this feeling, the Lord sent me to that corner to meet a new friend, one with blue eyes and a bag of laundry, who sat alone, who needed a coat.

And then, I wonder, how many other chair-people sit outside of other places—in need of a new friend! May I have eyes to see and may I move in love toward them! Let’s be a “strange” and peculiar people for the Lord!

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