Promoted From Under the Tree

I drove to Texarkana to an apartment complex to deliver some items and meet a need. Once in the parking lot, three different apartment doors opened. It could have been because my headlights were shining through their windows, in the U-shaped parking lot.

Now, I turned my car around and deducted, that the man stepping from the first apartment to my right was my friend. I did this, because the other two people shut their doors, going inside, so I hoped I was right.

As I stepped from the car, the man said, “Ms. Pam, you used to give me blankets when I slept on the street. I know you.”

I saw his face. “Oh my, I sure did. How great to see you, M.”

I helped him carry the bags inside as my other friend was in bed. She wasn’t feeling well, and called me to her bedroom. “Thank you. I can’t thank you enough.”

“You’re welcome. Someone blessed me, so I could bless you.”

Outside, M. made sure I didn’t slip on the remaining snow and ice. I handed him a scripture card and he held it up. “What’s this?”

“A verse to remind you that our help and salvation comes from God.”

“Thank you. I need to remember that.”

I drove to the homeless shelter since I was near, to love on a few other friends, parking my car again. A man called to me from the shadows. “Ms. Pam, I’ve been promoted from sleeping under that tree.” He pointed across the street. “I now stay at the shelter.”

“That’s great. It’s warmer, too, huh?”

He opened the door for me. “It sure is.”

Inside, I spoke with a woman whose eyes were black and blue, who wouldn’t open up. Who kept saying she was fine.

Inside, I laughed with another woman who told me jokes about the weather. Who hugged the wall.

Inside, I embraced two long-time friends who’ve been living in an abandoned house. Who are grateful for the shelter tonight. Who asked for prayer and more hugs.

Inside, one man offered to help me carry in the bags of socks from my car. And the box of toboggans.

Later, as I moved to my car to leave, a voice hollered from beside a van. “Goodnight, Ms. Pam. I’ll see you Saturday.”

“Who’s there?” I stared into the darkness.

“It’s me. Your friend.”

“I can’t see you.”

The shadow came into the light. “It’s me, R. I wanted to make sure you got to your car safely.”

“Thank you. You are indeed a good friend.”

As I drove home, I realized how special everyone is to me, those I saw on this outing—like those who live under trees. Or who live on the street. Or in abandoned houses. Or in apartments. Or in shelters.

You know, those, I call my friend! For each of them has a piece of my heart!

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