Once-Homeless Woman Gives Back During Hurricane Harvey

Life’s Walk

I’ll never forget seeing the homeless woman walking down the trail with a bag and a coat.

I’ll never forget talking with her, getting to know her, hearing of her struggles.

I’ll never forget the journey of sitting with her, praying with her, studying our Bibles together.

I’ll never forget her reciting Romans 8 at Church under the Bridge and our eating chili dogs to celebrate her accomplishment. I’ll never forget how thrilled she was to seek the Lord with memorizing verses.

I’ll never forget how she challenged me to learn the entire chapter too. How we studied for weeks, reciting the scriptures to each other at the library. Thus, I’ll never forget that no one has ever challenged me to do this with such persistence.

I’ll never forget how she lived in a homeless camp. In two different spots. How she walked the streets to fill water jugs. Climbed the hill to cross the bridge. Ate at the shelters. Lived by a creek. And slept in a tent.

Sometimes You Take Detours

I’ll never forget how she left with a group to another town. How they promised certain things. How certain things were not what she needed. How our pastor retrieved her. How she returned to the camps. And how she was content.

I’ll never forget how she found a puppy in the woods. How she nursed the pup. How she named her Christian. How she kept the dog. Raised her. Loved her. And still has her.

More Steps of Faith

I’ll never forget the day, some 18 months later, when she received a blessing from a program, that placed in her her own apartment. And how my husband and son went with me to her camp in the sweltering heat, down trails to gather her items, loading them inside my son’s pickup.

I’ll never forget the itchy grass, the mosquitoes and the chiggers, and how my arms and legs had a rash for weeks. And I’ll never forget how I should have brought more than one bottled water. There were four of us, after all.

Take More Steps as Needed

I’ll never forget how my friends provided a bed for her apartment, a kitchen table and chairs, as well as dishes, pots and pan, and clothes. Along with bedding and a sofa to sit on. Even silverware.

I’ll never forget how two weeks later, she had a job. How she now rides the bus to work or gets a ride.

I’ll never forget how excited she was to show me her debit card. To show me her payroll card.

The Day She Gave with Love

I’ll never forget the day she called me and offered to donate $20 to help the people suffering from Hurricane Harvey. I even saved that voice mail. It was a great lesson for me because she showed grace and mercy, and loved others in return. That is what I’ll never forget!

Take a look at this text from Luke 21 1-4 ESV: Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

May I not forget certain things in life. Like a home. My bed. Running water. Air conditioning. A sofa. May I not take it for granted that I have a job. That I have a husband who loves me. That I have a relationship with Christ who chose me, changed me, and redeemed my life. May I not forget those verses I learned on Tuesday nights with my dear once-homeless friend, either!

And then I wonder about the widow in the Bible and my friend who gave her money to me to help others. And I have to ask myself, when did I last give all that I had to live on, to someone else?

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